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Laconic Trope Distinctions / A to D

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Part 1 of the Laconical List of Subtle Trope Distinctions. Items are sorted alphabetically by whichever trope is alphabetically first; if you're looking for a specific one, use the "Find" or "Search" function of your Web browser.

Pages: A to D | E to I | J to R | S to Z

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    A 

Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal vs Barefoot Cartoon Animal vs Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal vs Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal:

Accidental Aesop vs Alternate Aesop Interpretation vs Warp That Aesop:

Accidental Hero vs Badass Unintentional vs Miles Gloriosus:

Accidental Innuendo vs. Innocent Innuendo vs. Does This Remind You of Anything? vs. That Came Out Wrong vs. Heh Heh, You Said "X":

Accidental Murder vs. Murder by Mistake:

Accidental Nightmare Fuel vs. Nightmare Fuel:

Acclaimed Flop vs. Critical Dissonance vs. Critic-Proof:

Achilles in His Tent vs. Deus Exit Machina vs. 10-Minute Retirement

Action-Hogging Opening vs. Action Prologue vs. Batman Cold Open vs. The Teaser

Actor/Role Confusion vs. I Am Not Spock vs. Role Association:

Actually Not a Vampire vs. Not Using the Zed Word vs. Totally Not a Werewolf:

Adam Smith Hates Your Guts vs. Karl Marx Hates Your Guts vs. No Hero Discount:

  • The price you pay to buy a useful item...
    • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Quadruples every time you reach a new area.
    • Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: Is always the same everywhere, and often less than you get by selling it, meaning you just lugged 100 of them across the continent for nothing.
    • No Hero Discount: Is the same price paid by people who didn't just save the shopkeeper from being monster food.

Adam Westing vs. As Himself vs. Autobiographical Role vs. Celebrity Star vs. Character as Himself vs. The Danza vs. Special Guest:

Adaptation Decay vs. Bowdlerise vs. Cut-and-Paste Translation

Adaptation Distillation vs. Pragmatic Adaptation vs. Woolseyism:

Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole vs. Dub-Induced Plot Hole vs. Inconsistent Dub

Adventure Towns vs. City of Adventure

Affably Evil vs. Faux Affably Evil vs Laughably Evil vs Wicked Cultured

Agent Peacock Vs. Real Men Wear Pink

A.I. Breaker vs. Artificial Stupidity vs. Good Bad Bugs

  • The AI...
    • A.I. Breaker: Freaks out if you perform a specific action/set of actions.
    • Artificial Stupidity: Has a trend of bad decision-making in certain situations.
    • Good Bad Bugs: Has some quirky responses to certain things, but isn't affected in how it handles playing the game.

Airborne Aircraft Carrier vs. The Battlestar vs. The Mothership

Alas, Poor Villain vs. Cry for the Devil vs. Monster Sob Story vs. Sympathy for the Devil vs. Tortured Monster:

The Alcatraz vs. Cardboard Prison vs."Inescapable" Prison Easily Escaped vs. Gilded Cage vs. Implicit Prison vs. Luxury Prison Suite vs. Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All vs. Play-Along Prisoner

Alien Blood vs. Black Blood

Alien Non-Interference Clause vs. Obstructive Code of Conduct

All Girls Want Bad Boys vs. Evil Is Sexy vs. Monster Fangirl

All Myths Are True vs. Fantasy Kitchen Sink vs. Crossover Cosmology vs. The Legend of Chekhov vs. World of Weirdness:

All There in the Manual vs. Read the Freaking Manual:

All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game" vs. First-Episode Twist vs. It Was His Sled vs. Late-Arrival Spoiler:

Allegedly Free Game vs. Bribing Your Way to Victory vs. Real Money Trade vs. Revenue-Enhancing Devices

The Alliance vs. The Empire vs. The Federation vs. Fictional United Nations vs. La Résistance:

All Men Are Perverts vs. I'm a Man; I Can't Help It:

Almost Dead Guy vs. Normally, I Would Be Dead Now vs. Not Quite Dead vs. Not Too Dead to Save the Day vs. Only Mostly Dead vs. Staying Alive

  • Almost Dead Guy: Character lingers on the verge of death until they fulfill their plot value.
  • Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: Character pushes through a downright-lethal injury to keep fighting. May only be temporary.
  • Not Quite Dead: Character gives appearance of being dead, but then musters the strength for a final act (or two).
  • Not Too Dead to Save the Day: Character actually dies, but gives timely assistance from beyond.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Character falls into near-death coma state. Do something and they can be saved!
  • Staying Alive: Character visibly dies a certain death, but being dead just doesn't stick on them.

Alternate Continuity vs. Alternate Timeline vs. Alternate History vs. Continuity Reboot:

Alternate Universe vs. Another Dimension:

Aluminum Christmas Trees vs Reality Is Unrealistic vs Truth in Television

Always a Bigger Fish vs. Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work vs. Villainous Rescue:

Always Murder vs. Never Suicide

Ambiguously Gay vs. But Not Too Gay vs. Have I Mentioned I Am Gay? vs. Hide Your Lesbians vs. Get Back in the Closet

Amnesia Danger vs. Amnesiac Liar vs. Criminal Amnesiac vs. Easy Amnesia vs. Forgot the Call vs. Identity Amnesia vs. Laser-Guided Amnesia

  • A character has amnesia:

Amusing Alien vs. Funny Foreigner

Anachronic Order vs. Meanwhile, in the Future...:

Ancient Conspiracy vs. Long Game:

Ancient Conspiracy vs. The Masquerade:

And Some Other Stuff vs. Cow Tools vs. Noodle Implements vs. That Mysterious Thing

...And That Little Girl Was Me vs. Narrator All Along:

And This Is for... vs. Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking vs. Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick

Anthropic Principle vs Theory of Narrative Causality:

Anti-Magic vs. Counterspell vs. No-Sell vs. Power Nullifier:

  • The hero is unable to blast the villain with a fireball because...
    • Anti-Magic: ...the villain's power prevents it.
    • Counterspell: ...the villain uses another spell that stops the hero from casting it.
    • Power Nullifier: ...the villain has a secret anti-fireball item placed on the hero.
    • No-Sell: ...magic fireballs bounce right off the villain.

Anyone Can Die vs. Characters Dropping Like Flies vs. Kill ’Em All vs. Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies vs. Total Party Kill

Anything That Moves vs. Extreme Omnisexual:

Apparently Human Merfolk vs. Fish People vs. Our Mermaids Are Different vs. Unscaled Merfolk:

Applied Phlebotinum vs. Green Rocks vs Single Phlebotinum Limit vs. Magnetic Plot Device vs. Mineral MacGuffin vs Minovsky Physics vs. Unobtainium :

Applied Phlebotinum vs. MacGuffin vs. Plot Device:

  • A thing that...
    • Applied Phlebotinum: causes plot-relevant items or actions to work.
    • MacGuffin: directly causes plot events, but whose nature and function are non-specific.
    • Plot Device: directly causes plot events and whose nature and/or function are specific in some way.

Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving vs. Chew-Out Fake-Out:

Artifact of Doom vs. Artifact of Death:

Ascended Extra vs. Ensemble Dark Horse vs. Breakout Character:

Ascended Fanboy vs Audience Surrogate vs Escapist Character vs The Everyman vs This Loser Is You vs Unfazed Everyman:

Ascended Meme vs. Meme Acknowledgement:

Asexuality vs. Celibate Hero vs. Chaste Hero

  • The opposite sex shows a clear interest in the hero but he/she...
    • Asexuality: has no interest in that sort of thing, period.
    • Celibate Hero: prefers to avoid love/lust entanglements.
    • Chaste Hero: is completely clueless about their interest in them.

Asian and Nerdy vs. Bollywood Nerd

Asshole Victim vs. Kick the Son of a Bitch vs. Pay Evil unto Evil

Asshole Victim vs. Who Murdered the Asshole?:

  • Asshole Victim: Terrible person gets vicious payback. Perpetrator not always mysterious.
  • Who Murdered the Asshole?: 'Who would have wanted to kill them?' 'Er… lots of people.' Tough case ensues.

Ass Pull vs. Deus ex Machina vs Diabolus ex Machina vs Shocking Swerve:

  • The writer has painted himself into a corner. To get out he...

Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption vs. One Dialogue, Two Conversations vs. One Scene, Two Monologues vs. Two Scenes, One Dialogue

A-Team Firing vs. Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy:

Attack! Attack! Attack! vs. I Will Fight Some More Forever vs. Suicidal Overconfidence:

Attack Hello vs. *Click* Hello vs. "Hey, You!" Haymaker vs. *Twang* Hello

Attack Hello vs. Dynamic Entry:

Attack of the Killer Whatever vs. Everything Trying to Kill You:

Atomic F-Bomb vs. Cluster F-Bomb vs. Precision F-Strike:

Audience-Coloring Adaptation vs. Lost in Imitation:

Author Appeal vs. Fanservice vs Pandering to the Base:

Author Appeal vs. Playing To The Fetishes

Author Avatar vs. Descended Creator

Author Catchphrase vs. Catchphrase

Author Filibuster vs. Author Tract vs. Writer on Board vs. Character Filibuster:

Averted Trope vs. Justified Trope vs. Lampshade Hanging vs. Subverted Trope vs. Double Subversion vs. Zig-Zagging Trope vs. Inverted Trope:

Awesome, but Impractical vs. Cool, but Inefficient vs. Difficult, but Awesome vs. Too Awesome to Use vs. Useless Useful Spell:

  • Like a death-ray...
    • Awesome, but Impractical: That is clearly stronger than a gun, but is so costly you only see yourself using it once in a blue moon.
    • Difficult, but Awesome: That is stronger than a gun if you master its unusual mechanisms, but weaker than a gun in unskilled hands.
    • Cool, but Inefficient: That looks fancy, but is ultimately weaker than a gun.
    • Too Awesome to Use: With one shot. You'll save it forever and just use a gun.
    • Useless Useful Spell: That only fires when it's being pointed at something that could be killed with a gun.

Ax-Crazy vs. Blood Knight vs. Psycho for Hire:

  • Ax-Crazy: A dangerous lunatic who is prone to just snap.
  • Psycho for Hire: Like the above, but he gets paid to snap.
  • Blood Knight: Dangerous lunatic? Nah, just loves fighting.

    B 

Back for the Dead vs. Bus Crash vs. Character Outlives Actor vs. Dropped a Bridge on Him vs. McLeaned vs. Put on a Bus vs. Put on a Bus to Hell vs. Written-In Absence:

Back Stab vs. In the Back

Bad Ass Back vs. Offhand Backhand:

Badass Bookworm vs. Genius Bruiser

Badass Longcoat vs. Conspicuous Trenchcoat vs. Trenchcoat Brigade:

The Bad Guy Wins vs. Downer Ending vs. "Shaggy Dog" Story vs. Shoot the Shaggy Dog:

Bad Habits vs. Sinister Minister:

Bait-and-Switch Gunshot vs. Staged Shooting

Baleful Polymorph vs Transformation Horror:

Bara Genre vs. Yaoi:

Base-Breaking Character vs. Broken Base:

Bat Deduction vs. Conviction by Contradiction vs. Conviction by Counterfactual Clue vs. Eureka Moment:

  • Bat Deduction: Conclusions about what happened based on insufficient evidence are treated as justified.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: Conclusion that someone is guilty based on a flaw in their alibi is treated as justified.
  • Conviction by Counterfactual Clue: Conclusion that someone is guilty based on circumstantial evidence from false premises is treated as justified.
  • Eureka Moment: Conclusions about what happened are inspired by completely unrelated events.

Bat Deduction vs. Entertainingly Wrong vs. Right for the Wrong Reasons vs. The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right

Batman Gambit vs. Gambit Pileup vs. Xanatos Gambit vs. Gambit Roulette vs. Xanatos Speed Chess:

  • Batman Gambit: I know what you'll do and I'll use that to win.
  • Gambit Pileup: Everyone's plans crashed into each other...I don't know who'll win.
  • Gambit Roulette: No matter what happens, no matter how unpredictable, I'll still win.
  • Xanatos Gambit: No matter what you do, I'll still win.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: If it looks like I won't win, I'll make up a new plan so I will.

Batman Gambit vs. Cloning Gambit vs. Fake Twin Gambit vs. Genghis Gambit vs. Lysistrata Gambit vs. Memory Gambit vs. Party Scheduling Gambit vs. Poison-and-Cure Gambit vs. The Uriah Gambit vs. Wounded Gazelle Gambit vs. Xanatos Gambit vs. Zero-Approval Gambit:

The Battle Didn't Count vs. Heads I Win, Tails You Lose vs. Hopeless Boss Fight vs. I Let You Win:

Beast Man vs. Funny Animal:

  • If you're really curious, refer to their analysis pages for more.
    • Beast Man: Zoomorphism, aka "Take a human and give them cat ears and a tail".
    • Funny Animal: Anthropomorphism, aka Take an animal and give them opposable thumbs and bipedalism.

Beautiful All Along vs. She Cleans Up Nicely vs. She Is All Grown Up:

  • Beautiful All Along: Now that you've taken off your glasses and let down your hair, I realize you're beautiful.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Now that you've put on a ball gown and had a makeover, you're even more beautiful.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Now that puberty's beaten you with a pretty stick, you're even more beautiful.

Beautiful All Along vs. I Just Want to Be Beautiful vs. The Makeover

Be Careful What You Wish For vs. Wanting Is Better Than Having

Become a Real Boy vs. Pinocchio Syndrome

Belligerent Sexual Tension vs. Destructive Romance vs. The Masochism Tango

  • Two people are in a romantic relationship, but also at odds, because...

Bellisario's Maxim vs. MST3K Mantra:

Beneath the Mask vs A Darker Me vs G.I.F.T. vs Hidden Depths:

Better by a Different Name vs. Follow the Leader vs. Recycled In SPACE:

BFG vs. Hand Cannon

  • BFG: A particularly large and unwieldy gun.
  • Hand Cannon: A very large pistol, but not that huge.

Big Bad Duumvirate vs. Big-Bad Ensemble

Big, Bulky Bomb vs. Cartoon Bomb vs. Incredibly Obvious Bomb

Big Damn Heroes vs. The Cavalry

Big "NO!" vs. Squick:

  • Big "NO!": Character's verbal reaction to being upset.
  • Squick: Physical reaction to something upsetting.

Bit Part Bad Guys vs. Mooks

Bittersweet Ending vs. Earn Your Happy Ending vs. Pyrrhic Victory

Black Comedy vs. Gallows Humor:

Black Sheep Hit vs. Creator Backlash vs. Magnum Opus Dissonance vs. Old Shame

Bland-Name Product vs. Fictional Counterpart

Blatant Lies vs. Implausible Deniability

Blessed with Suck vs. Cursed with Awesome

"Blind Idiot" Translation vs. Either "World Domination", or Something About Bananas vs. My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels vs. Translation Train Wreck:

Bond One-Liner vs. Quip to Black vs. Pre Ass Kicking One Liner vs. Pre-Mortem One-Liner

Bonus Boss vs. Skippable Boss vs. True Final Boss

Boobs of Steel vs. Buxom Is Better vs. Gag Boobs vs. Most Common Superpower

Boss in Mook Clothing vs. Demonic Spiders vs. Elite Mook vs. Giant Mook vs. King Mook vs. Mook Lieutenant vs. Superpowered Mooks vs. Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder

  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Videogame trope. Spawns as a standard enemy but has the stats of a plot-critical one.
  • Demonic Spiders: Videogame trope. Spawns as a standard enemy but is extremely frustrating to kill.
  • Elite Mook: Mooks trained and/or mutated into a more powerful version of themselves.
  • Giant Mook: Mook is bigger and tougher but not much more dangerous or meaningful.
  • King Mook: Videogame trope. Boss battle is with a boss-grade version of a mook monster.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Commander of the mook army. May be an Elite Mook themselves.
  • Superpowered Mooks: Normal mooks aren't working. Bring out the ones with kooky abilities.
  • Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder: Expendable troops that keep surviving suicide missions.

Bragging Rights Reward vs. Cosmetic Award vs. And Your Reward Is Clothes vs. Undesirable Prize

Bring My Brown Pants vs. No Dead Body Poops vs. Potty Emergency vs. Potty Failure

Brainless Beauty vs. Dumb Blonde

Breaking the Fourth Wall vs. Fourth Wall vs. Medium Awareness vs. No Fourth Wall vs. No Inner Fourth Wall:

Break Them by Talking vs. Hannibal Lecture vs. "The Reason You Suck" Speech

Bribing Your Way to Victory vs. Buy Them Off vs. Every Man Has His Price vs. Screw the Rules, I Have Money!

Brick Joke vs. Chekhov's Gag

  • Brick Joke: You don't know why it was there until it shows up again later.
  • Chekhov's Gag: It was a joke. Now it's back for a second round.

Broken Aesop vs. Clueless Aesop vs. Family-Unfriendly Aesop vs. Lost Aesop:

Broken Base vs. Fan Dumb vs. They Changed It, Now It Sucks! vs. Unpleasable Fanbase

Buffyspeak vs. Jive Turkey vs. Totally Radical

Bulletproof Human Shield vs. Human Shield

Bullet Time vs. Super Reflexes

Bullying a Dragon vs. Mugging the Monster vs. Underestimating Badassery vs. Do Not Taunt Cthulhu

Bunny-Ears Lawyer vs. Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass vs. Obfuscating Stupidity vs. Obfuscating Insanity vs. Let's Get Dangerous! vs. Crazy Awesome:

Burn the Witch! vs. Witch Hunt vs. The Witch Hunter

  • Burn the Witch!: Witches are killed by immolation.
  • Witch Hunt: Fanatical crusade to drive out a perceived threat, whether it's real or not.
  • Witch Hunter: Hunter of witches and/or supernatural beings.

But I Can't Be Pregnant! vs. But We Used a Condom vs. Miss Conception vs. Surprise Pregnancy

But Not Too Evil vs. Harmless Villain vs. Poke the Poodle

Butt-Monkey vs. Cosmic Plaything vs. The Chew Toy vs. The Woobie:

By "No", I Mean "Yes" vs Distinction Without a Difference

Byronic Hero vs. Classical Anti-Hero vs. Knight In Sour Armor vs. Knight Templar vs. Nominal Hero vs. Pragmatic Hero vs. Sociopathic Hero vs. Unscrupulous Hero

    C 

Call-Back vs. Continuity Nod vs. Mythology Gag:

The Call Knows Where You Live vs. The Villain Knows Where You Live

Calvinball vs. Gretzky Has the Ball vs. Artistic License – Sports vs. New Rulesasthe Plot Demands vs. Unnecessary Roughness:

Campbell Country vs. Lovecraft Country

Camp Gay vs. Hard Gay:

Camp Straight vs. The Dandy

Canon vs. Fanon vs. Ascended Fanon vs. Fanon Discontinuity vs. Canon Discontinuity vs. Running the Asylum vs. Extended Universe vs. Word of Dante vs. Word of Saint Paul vs. Word of God:

Canon Foreigner vs. Canon Immigrant

  • Canon Foreigner: refers to a character exclusive to a certain adaptation of a previously-existing fictional universe.
  • Canon Immigrant: is when a character originally created in an adaptation is later introduced in the original source material.

Canon Sue vs. Creator's Pet vs. The Scrappy vs. X-Pac Heat:

  • Canon Sue: Character represents the author.
  • Creator's Pet: Fans hate the character but the authors love them.
  • The Scrappy: Fans hate the character but he/she/it still has major role.
  • X-Pac Heat: Fans hate the actor rather than the character.

Cannon Fodder vs. Redshirt Army:

Captain Ersatz vs. Expy:

  • A duplicate from another work, which...

Card-Carrying Villain vs Obviously Evil:

Cartwright Curse vs. Fatal Attractor

The Casanova vs. Serial Romeo

The Cassandra vs. Cassandra Truth vs. Ignored Expert:

Cassandra Gambit vs. Cassandra Truth vs. Sarcastic Confession:

Cassandra Truth vs. Not Now, Kiddo:

Casting Couch vs. Sexual Extortion vs. Scarpia Ultimatum

Catchphrase vs. Verbal Tic

  • Phrase a character says a lot...

Cat Fight vs. Designated Girl Fight

Cerebus Syndrome vs. Darker and Edgier

  • Cerebus Syndrome: A light, comedic series gets more serious and dramatic as it goes on (but not necessarily darker).
  • Darker and Edgier: Either:
    • A series gets darker undertones over time.
    • A sequel/reboot/alternate continuity is noticeably darker than its predecessor(s) (but not necessarily more serious).

Character Derailment vs. Out of Character:

Character Filibuster vs. Holding the Floor:

Character-Magnetic Team vs. Hitchhiker Heroes vs. Magnetic Hero:

Charm Person vs. Compelling Voice:

Cheaters Never Prosper vs. Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat

Chekhov's Armoury vs. Chekhov's Boomerang vs. Chekhov's Gun:

Cherry Tapping vs. Death of a Thousand Cuts vs. Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? vs. Finger Poke of Doom vs. Zerg Rush

The Chessmaster vs. Magnificent Bastard vs. Manipulative Bastard:

Chewing the Scenery vs. Large Ham:

Chunky Salsa Rule vs. Ludicrous Gibs vs. Overdrawn at the Blood Bank:

Clark Kenting vs. Paper-Thin Disguise vs. Wig, Dress, Accent

Clarke's Third Law vs. Magic by Any Other Name vs. Magic from Technology vs. Magic-Powered Pseudoscience vs. Magitek vs. Post-Modern Magik:

Cliffhanger vs. Sequel Hook:

Closing Credits vs. Creative Closing Credits vs. Credits Gag

Coincidental Broadcast vs. Crystal-Ball Scheduling:

Coitus Ensues vs. Next Thing They Knew vs. One Thing Led to Another vs. Romance Ensues:

Coitus Uninterruptus vs. Interrupted Intimacy vs. Primal Scene:

Color-Coded for Your Convenience vs. Chromatic Arrangement vs. Red Shirt vs. Bring My Red Jacket vs. Turns Red vs. Law of Chromatic Superiority

Combat Medic vs. Deadly Doctor vs. Martial Medic

Comic-Book Fantasy Casting vs. Hypothetical Casting vs. Ink-Suit Actor vs. No Celebrities Were Harmed vs. Textual Celebrity Resemblance

Comic-Book Time vs. Frozen in Time vs. Webcomic Time

  • Comic-Book Time: When the setting starts in one era and moves forward in time similar to real-world time, but the characters don't age.
  • Frozen in Time: When the setting and everything needs to be in a particular era in order for the work to make sense or be accepted by audiences.
  • Webcomic Time: When the setting does not move forward in time like real-world time, and because of that the characters don't age.

Compilation Re-release vs. Game of the Year Edition vs. Updated Re-release vs. Video Game Remake

Confusion Fu vs. Indy Ploy vs. Strategy Schmategy:

Construct Additional Pylons vs. You Require More Vespene Gas

Contemplate Our Navels vs. Fauxlosophic Narration vs. Ice-Cream Koan vs. Meaningless Meaningful Words vs. Word Salad Philosophy

Conveniently an Orphan vs. Orphan's Ordeal:

Conveniently Precise Translation vs. Lucky Translation:

Conviction by Contradiction vs. Conviction by Counterfactual Clue:

Cordon Bleugh Chef vs. Lethal Chef vs. One-Note Cook

Corrupt Church vs. Path of Inspiration vs. Religion of Evil:

Cosmic Horror Story vs. Eldritch Abomination vs. Lovecraft Lite

  • Cosmic Horror Story: The genre where we'll all eventually get eaten by monsters from beyond comprehension.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The creatures that do the eating.
  • Lovecraft Lite: The genre where the monsters from beyond all comprehension get killed and we don't get eaten.

Could Say It, But... vs. I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You! vs. Suspiciously Specific Denial

Cowboy BeBop at His Computer vs. I Am Not Shazam vs. Fandom-Enraging Misconception:

Creator Backlash vs. Old Shame:

  • A creator hates one of their works...

Creepy Child vs. Cute But Psycho vs. Enfant Terrible vs. Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon vs. A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Creepy Doll vs. Happy Fun Ball vs. Perverse Puppet

Critical Research Failure vs. Dan Browned::

Crossover vs. Intercontinuity Crossover vs. Massive Multiplayer Crossover vs. Mega Crossover vs. Fusion Fic:

Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass vs. Genius Ditz vs. Obfuscating Stupidity:

Cryptic Background Reference vs. Noodle Incident vs. Riddle for the Ages vs. A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma vs. The Unsolved Mystery vs. Plot Hole

Curb-Stomp Battle vs. No Holds Barred Beat Down vs. One-Hit KO

Curious as a Monkey vs. Constantly Curious

Cute and Psycho vs. Sugar-and-Ice Personality vs. Tsundere vs. Yandere

Cute as a Bouncing Betty vs. I Call It "Vera"

    D 

Dead Person Conversation vs. Mummies at the Dinner Table vs. Of Corpse He's Alive vs. Please Wake Up vs. Talking to the Dead

Deathbringer the Adorable vs. Fluffy the Terrible

Death by Mocking vs. Do Not Taunt Cthulhu vs. Let's Mock the Monsters

Death Is Cheap vs. Death Is a Slap on the Wrist vs. First Law of Resurrection vs. Resurrective Immortality vs. Staying Alive

Decapitation Required vs. Depleted Phlebotinum Shells vs. Immortal Breaker vs. Mortality Ensues

December–December Romance vs. Grow Old with Me

Deface of the Moon vs. Detonation Moon

Defictionalization vs. The Red Stapler vs. Product Placement:

  • A product appears in a work of fiction that is:
    • Defictionalization: Originally fictional, but due to fan demand it later becomes a real product.
    • The Red Stapler: Real and receives an unexpected boost in sales/popularity due to appearance on-screen.
    • Product Placement: Real and is intentionally featured in the hopes it will boost sales/popularity.

Demonic Spiders vs. Goddamned Bats:

Department of Redundancy Department vs. Shaped Like Itself:

Destructo-Nookie vs.Slap-Slap-Kiss vs. Kiss-Kiss-Slap:

  • Two people who're hostile, yet romantically attracted...
    • Destructo-Nookie: ...make love so vly they smash their surroundings.
    • Kiss-Kiss-Slap: ...are showing each other affection until one or both suddenly becomes hostile.
    • Slap-Slap-Kiss: ...are being hostile to one another until they suddenly become affectionate.

The Determinator vs. Implacable Man vs. The Juggernaut vs. Perpetual-Motion Monster:

  • Alice keeps chasing Bob...

Deus ex Nukina vs. Nuclear Option vs. Nuclear Weapons Taboo vs. Nuke 'em vs. You Nuke 'Em

  • Nukes are...
    • Deus ex Nukina: Used in unrealistic ways to crank up the drama.
    • Nuclear Option: Used as an absolute last resort when all else has failed.
    • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Substituted with a weapon that's just as destructive.
    • Nuke 'em: Used frequently, recklesly and exclusively to almost anything else.
    • You Nuke 'Em: Used whenever the player in a video game feels like using them.

Die for Our Ship vs. Ship-to-Ship Combat:

Diesel Punk vs. Raygun Gothic:

  • Raygun Gothic: How sci-fi artists of the 20's through the 50's imagined the future would look.
  • Diesel Punk: How sci-fi authors of today imagine the 20's through the 50's could have gone if our grandparents had more Applied Phlebotinum.

Dirty Coward vs. Know When to Fold 'Em vs. Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:

Disc-One Final Boss vs. Starter Villain

Discontinuity: Canon Discontinuity vs. Fanon Discontinuity vs. Dork Age vs. Retcon

Discredited Trope vs. Dead Horse Trope vs. Forgotten Trope vs. Undead Horse Trope vs. Dead Unicorn Trope

Disney Death vs. He's Just Hiding! vs. Never Say "Die":

Disposable Vagrant vs. Kill the Poor:

Ditzy Genius vs. Genius Ditz:

  • Ditzy Genius: Smart person who does dumb things when they stop paying attention.
  • Genius Ditz: Dumb person who becomes amazing when in a certain element.

Dolled-Up Installment vs. In Name Only:

  • Something in an existing franchise...

Do Wrong, Right vs Even Evil Has Standards vs Pragmatic Villainy

Dragon Ascendant vs. The Starscream

Dull Surprise vs. Flat Joy vs. That Makes Me Feel Angry

  • Dull Surprise: Actor's flat delivery undermines emotional expression.
  • Flat Joy: Character speaks flatly to either be sarcastic or downplay emotional expression.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Character explains what they're feeling, usually out of unfamiliarity with normal emotional expression.

Dumb Is Good vs Good Is Dumb

  • A good person is stupid, or at least more stupid than he used to be. Which came first?

Dystopia Justifies the Means vs To Create a Playground for Evil


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