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Laconic Trope Distinctions / E to I

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Part 2 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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Early-Bird Boss vs Wake-Up Call Boss vs Warm-Up Boss:

Earth-Shattering Kaboom vs. The End of the World as We Know It:

Easily Forgiven vs. "Get out of Jail Free" Card vs. Karma Houdini :

Endless Game vs. Game Over vs. Unwinnable:

  • Oops! You lose!:
    • Endless Game: The game was only about Scoring Points, how many did you get?
    • Game Over: You ran out of lives/whatever and can't continue playing.
    • Unwinnable: And you may not know you lost for a while, since you can keep playing...

End of an Age vs. Götterdämmerung vs. Here There Were Dragons vs. The Magic Goes Away:

Enemy Without vs. Literal Split Personality:

Epileptic Trees vs. Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory vs. Wild Mass Guessing:

Eternal Recurrence vs. "Groundhog Day" Loop vs. History Repeats:

Even Beggars Won't Choose It vs. Everyone Has Standards

Evil Tainted the Place vs. Fisher King vs Indian Burial Ground vs. Leaking Can of Evil:

Evil Twin vs. Evil Counterpart vs. Evil Knockoff vs. Criminal Doppelgänger:

Exact Words vs. Loophole Abuse vs. Not the Intended Use:

Example as a Thesis vs. Self-Demonstrating Article:

Exaggerated Trope vs. Logical Extreme:

Expository Hairstyle Change vs. Important Haircut vs. Good Hair, Evil Hair:

Expospeak Gag vs. Layman's Terms:

The Extremist Was Right vs. Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist vs. Villain Has a Point vs. Well-Intentioned Extremist:


Face of the Band vs. I Am the Band:

  • Face of the Band: Bob is the only member of The Tropes that most people can name.
  • I Am the Band: Of course, Bob does write and sing all the songs and plays lead guitar.

Failure Hero vs. Invincible Hero vs. Showy Invincible Hero

Fake Shemp vs. The Other Darrin vs. The Other Marty vs. Poor Man's Substitute vs. Suspiciously Similar Substitute You Look Familiar:

Fake Ultimate Hero vs. Miles Gloriosus:

Family Versus Career vs. Never a Self-Made Woman

  • Family Versus Career: A character (usually a woman) is presented a choice between their career and their family.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: In many works, female characters tend to be notable male characters' wives/girlfriends/daughters/mothers/sisters.

Fan-Disliked Explanation vs. The Un-Reveal vs. Voodoo Shark

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

Fantastic Aesop vs. Space Whale Aesop:

Fantastic Drug vs. G-Rated Drug vs. I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!:

Fate Worse than Death vs. And I Must Scream

Fan Disservice vs. Fetish Retardant:

Fighting Clown vs. Joke Character vs. Lethal Joke Character

Filler vs. Padding vs. Wacky Wayside Tribe:

  • Filler: Additional side stories unimportant to the main plot arc.
  • Padding: Additional material added to the main plot to stretch the length.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: Additional obstacles added to the main plot to give the characters a hard time.

The Film of the Book vs. The Movie vs. Novelization:

The Film of the Series vs. The Movie vs. Non-Serial Movie:

Flat-Earth Atheist vs. Nay-Theist:

Flip-Flop of God vs. Shrug of God vs. The Walrus Was Paul vs. Word of God

Forgotten Phlebotinum vs. Plot-Induced Stupidity vs. Holding Back the Phlebotinum vs. It Only Works Once

For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself vs. Your Costume Needs Work:

Foreign Cuss Word vs. Unusual Euphemism vs. Pardon My Klingon

Foreshadowing vs. Rewatch Bonus'''

  • Foreshadowing: Teases/provides indication of later events. Easier to spot retroactively.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Has meaning first time, has additional meaning second time.

Fragile Speedster vs. Glass Cannon vs. Squishy Wizard

"Freaky Friday" Flip vs. Personality Swap

  • Due to some weird event, Alice and Carol discover that they have swapped...

Fridge Brilliance vs. Fridge Horror vs. Fridge Logic:

  • When you think about a certain aspect of a show you just watched, you realize...

Friend in the Black Market vs. Honest John's Dealership:

From Nobody to Nightmare vs. Magikarp Power vs. Malignant Plot Tumor vs. Not-So-Harmless Villain:

Full-Circle Revolution vs Meet the New Boss:

Funbag Airbag vs. Marshmallow Hell

"Funny Aneurysm" Moment vs. Hilarious in Hindsight vs. Harsher in Hindsight vs. Narm:


Gambit Pileup vs. Last Plan Standing vs. Out-Gambitted

Genocide Backfire vs. Nice Job Breaking It, Herod!:

Genre Savvy vs. Medium Awareness:

Getting Crap Past the Radar vs. Parental Bonus

Ghostapo vs. Stupid Jetpack Hitler vs. We Didn't Start the Führer

Giftedly Bad vs. High Hopes, Zero Talent vs. I Coulda Been a Contender! vs. Dream-Crushing Handicap

Gone Horribly Right vs. Gone Horribly Wrong

The Good Guys Always Win vs. Invincible Hero

Good Lawyers, Good Clients vs. Only Bad Guys Call Their Lawyers

Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death vs. Mad Lib Thriller Title

Guide Dang It! vs. Moon Logic Puzzle vs. That One Puzzle

Guy in Back vs. Wingman

  • The guy who provides support for the hero...

Guy-on-Guy Is Hot vs. Yaoi Fangirl

  • She thinks two guys making out is hot...


Ham and Cheese vs. Took the Bad Film Seriously:

Hand Cannon vs. BFG:

  • Hand Cannon: A handgun so large and powerful it's ridiculous.
  • BFG: A gun that's too large or powerful to be used as an individual weapon, but is, anyway.

Hand-or-Object Underwear vs. Scenery Censor:

Hand Wave vs. Justified Trope vs. Lampshade Hanging vs. Voodoo Shark:

Happy Fun Ball vs. My Little Panzer

Harmless Villain vs. Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain vs. Hate Sink vs. Not-So-Harmless Villain vs. Villainy-Free Villain

Have a Nice Death vs. It's a Wonderful Failure vs. Nonstandard Game Over vs. Fission Mailed:

Having a Blast vs. Stuff Blowing Up vs. Throw Down the Bomblet:

Head-in-the-Sand Management vs. The Quisling:

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose vs I Surrender, Suckers vs Xanatos Gambit:

Heroic BSoD vs. Heroic RRoD vs. Super-Power Meltdown:

Heroic Fantasy vs. High Fantasy vs. Low Fantasy vs. Standard Fantasy Setting:

Heterosexual Life-Partners vs. Homoerotic Subtext vs. Ho Yay vs. Odd Couple vs. Platonic Life-Partners:

Historical Downgrade vs. Historical Villain Downgrade

Historical Hilarity vs. Historical Person Punchline

Homage vs. Shout-Out:

Honor Before Reason vs. Lawful Stupid:

Hyper-Awareness vs. Sherlock Scan:

  • Hyper-Awareness: Capable of observing minor details to everything around you.
  • Sherlock Scan: Observes minor details to make accurate assumptions.

Hypocrite vs. Straw Hypocrite:

  • Hypocrite: Fails to practice what they preach even if they believe in it in principle.
  • Straw Hypocrite: Doesn't even believe in what it is that they preach about.


I Ain't Got Time to Bleed vs. I Can Still Fight! vs. Major Injury Underreaction vs. Only a Flesh Wound

Idiot Ball vs. Idiot Plot vs. Plot-Induced Stupidity:

Idiot Ball vs. Lethally Stupid vs. Nobody's That Dumb vs. No One Else Is That Dumb vs. Too Dumb to Live vs. A Tragedy of Impulsiveness vs. What an Idiot! vs. Who Would Be Stupid Enough?:

Ignore The Fanservice vs. Not Distracted by the Sexy

IKEA Erotica vs. Mills and Boon Prose

I Let Gwen Stacy Die vs. Sacrificial Lion

  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Hero becomes more driven/motivated after a closely-tied character's death.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Character whose death is a major point of drama or shift in the plot.

Immortality vs. Made of Iron vs. Nigh-Invulnerability:

Incredibly Lame Pun vs. Just for Pun vs. Stealth Pun

Index Syndrome vs. Indexitis:

Infinity -1 Sword vs. Penultimate Weapon:

  • The World's Greatest Weapon isn't the one you'll use most of the time, because:

Instrument of Murder vs. Musical Assassin vs. Senseless Violins:

Insufferable Genius vs. Too Clever by Half:

Insult Backfire vs. Stealth Insult

Intoxication Ensues vs. Mushroom Samba:

Invisibility vs Invisible Main Character:

Ironic Echo vs. Meaningful Echo

It Is Pronounced Tropay vs. Psmith Psyndrome vs. You Say Tomato

It's Not Supposed to Win Oscars vs. Not Screened for Critics

I Want My Jet Pack vs. Magic Floppy Disk vs. Science Marches On vs. Technology Marches On vs. Our Graphics Will Suck in the Future vs. Zeerust vs. Zeerust Canon:

I Was Never Here vs. You Didn't See That:



How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: