Part 3 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.
- Being good at everything, great at nothing is the character's:
Joke Item vs. Lethal Joke Item vs. Nerf Arm vs. Scrappy Weapon:
- Joke Item: Funny useless item.
- Lethal Joke Item: Funny item, but sometimes useful.
- Nerf Arm: Funny useful item.
- Scrappy Weapon: Just plain useless.
- Jumping the Shark: Fans realize that moment five seasons ago was when a show started to suck.
- Ruined FOREVER: Fans claim that moment five minutes ago is when a show starts to suck.
- How did you get your piece of crap?
- Kick the Dog: Evil for evil's sake, to remind you they're evil.
- Poke the Poodle: Wimpy attempted Kick the Dog.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Went too far down Knight Templar street.
- Moral Event Horizon: Something so bad, the audience now wants you dead.
- An evil character is harmed...
- Someone controls and directs a powerful entity that is:
- An abnormally high body count is racked up:
- Knight In Sour Armor: Bitter and cynical, but still fights for the good.
- The Snark Knight: Snide, due to holding everyone to high standards (including themselves).
Lame Pun Reaction vs. Stealth Pun vs. World of Pun
- Lame Pun Reaction: Even the characters admit they're lame.
- Stealth Pun: Find them out by yourself.
- World of Pun: Many puns in a work.
- Bob ruins...
Legacy Character vs. Legacy Immortality vs. Suspiciously Similar Substitute vs. The Nth Doctor vs. The Other Darrin vs. Replacement Scrappy:
- Legacy Character: New character adopts old character's persona in-universe.
- Legacy Immortality: Legacy Character perceived in-universe as one immortal character.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: New character has same role and character traits as old character, for no in-universe reason.
- The Other Darrin: Same character, new actor, ignored in-universe.
- The Nth Doctor: Same character, new actor, explained in-universe.
- Replacement Scrappy: New character sucks because he's new.
- Two unfortunate figures, portrayed as...
- Life Will Kill You: Anticlimactic death.
- We All Die Someday: Said in response to people asking about death.
- Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Anthropomorphic animals and humans.
- World of Funny Animals: Just the anthropomorphic animals.
- World of Mammals: ...Specifically, mammalian ones.
- Long-Runner Tech Marches On: In-show gadgets update to keep matching the trendy real-life gadget.
- Technology Marches On: Character in an old season can't wait to get their snazzy, brand-new Walkman.
Love Potion vs. Sex Magic
MacGuffin vs. Plot Coupon
- MacGuffin: Pursuit or protection of the thing drives and causes the story events.
- Plot Coupon: Characters must acquire this thing, and no progress towards the goal can be made until they do.
- Character can spot changes in machine equipment...
- A character is superhumanly durable...
- Major Injury Underreaction: Barely reacting to a serious wound.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Non-incapacitating wounds are shrugged off.
- One twin stands in for another...
- Bob acts like a child...
- Being evil doesn't stop the villain from having sophisticated..
- Characters are thrown into an engagement, but fall in love for real:
Mary Sue vs. most of the subtypes
- Mary Sue: Fan fic character (generally) who is blatant Wish Fulfillment for the author. Super-Trope for the following:
- Anti-Sue: Ugly and/or nasty but still a Sue in the plot.
- Black Hole Sue: The entire plot is caught in their event horizon.
- Canon Sue: Exactly What It Says on the Tin; can be any type of Sue.
- Copy Cat Sue: Specially-tailored ripoff of a canon character.
- Dream Sue: A character is perfect in their dreams.
- Einstein Sue: Outrageously disconnected from the crisis but knows how to solve it.
- Fixer Sue: Exists to patch up the plot, whether it's needed or not.
- God-Mode Sue: Overpowered in the extreme.
- Jerk Sue: Thoroughly nasty to others but always loved by everyone.
- Lemon Stu: The ultimate lover, to unrealistic degrees.
- Marty Stu: Mary Sue's Distaff Counterpart.
- Mary Sue Classic: Perfection in everything, and loved by everyone; often a Purity Sue. The archetypal Sue character.
- Mary Suetopia: Life here is too idyllic and idealized.
- Mary Tzu: An unrealistically successful schemer.
- Neutrality Sue: Can get away with anything because of their neutral morality.
- Parody Sue: Deliberately mocks the trope.
- Possession Sue: Canon character rewritten to fit the author's ideal.
- Purity Sue: A blinding beacon of pureness and positivity.
- Relationship Sue: Exists to create a romance with another character.
- Sympathetic Sue: Unrealistically angsty and draws sympathy from everyone.
- 30-Sue Pileup: Many Sues in one plot.
- Villain Sue: Unrealistically over-the-top villainy.
- In a romantic relationship...
- If you want to be back within an hour, you can't spend more than 59 minutes in the past/future.
- Portal to the Past: Justified, the portal can only take you exactly X years forwards/backwards from the moment you step through.
- San Dimas Time: Technically wrong, but the characters never realize it.
- Meanwhile, in the Future...: The same idea applied to the narrative, rather than to the characters.
Menacing Stroll vs. Ominous Walk vs. Power Walk vs. The Slow Walk vs. Unflinching Walk
- Menacing Stroll: Shows this individual is badass. Needs dangerous setting.
- Ominous Walk: Taking your time with kicking ass.
- Power Walk: Shows this team is badass. Needs slow-mo.
- The Slow Walk: Determined walk to get in range before kicking ass.
- Unflinching Walk: Any of the above while there's Stuff Blowing Up.
- Piñata Enemy: A videogame enemy that reaps special rewards on death.
- Metal Slime: ...Except they're tanky and prone to fleeing combat first.
- A white hero encounters a group of minorities.
- Mile-Long Ship: Transport you could locate on an atlas.
- Planet Spaceship: Transport big enough to dwarf small moons.
- Unnecessarily Large Vessel: Transport that, regardless of actual size, has more room than needed for function.
- Starship Luxurious: ...In space!
Misblamed vs. Never My Fault vs. Scapegoat Creator
- Misblamed: The wrong person is blamed for the problem.
- Never My Fault: Character refuses to accept responsibility for problems.
- Scapegoat Creator: Creator is blamed for problems in work regardless if they were the cause.
- The Hero is a jerk...
- A Jerkass or Blood Knight has someone special to them that...
- Morph Weapon: The weapon can shift shapes.
- Shapeshifter Weapon: The shapeshifter can form their own weapons.
- A character is granted wishes...
- 'You're not really meant to use that for such __ purposes.'
Mundanger vs. Mundangerous vs. Weaksauce Weakness
- Mundanger: Normal enemy in supernatural setting.
- Mundangerous: The normal can hurt things of the supernatural.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Super-powered character is hurt by something that shouldn't hurt anyone.
- The hero resorts to violence because...
- Time in dimension A runs ______ to dimension B.
- Narrow Parody: Parody of really recent things.
- Shallow Parody: Superficial parody without real understanding.
- Those Wacky Nazis are armed with:
- You Can't Thwart Stage One: Villainous plans are never stopped in their early stages.
- Near-Villain Victory: ...But some get closer to triumph than others.
- Negative Continuity: Ignore changes to the status quo, everything snaps back next episode.
- Status Quo Is God: Avoid changing the status quo.
- An item turns out to be so powerful that it breaks online play. The developers...
- Never Grew Up: Chooses not to age.
- Not Growing Up Sucks: Cursed not to age.
- Not Allowed to Grow Up: Doesn't age because the writers don't want them to.
- Nietzsche Wannabe: "Life is meaningless. We're all going to rot, so why not just end it now?"
- Übermensch: "I am beyond your petty morality. I seek a higher purpose."
- No One Could Survive That!: Assumed dead without proof.
- Not Quite Dead: Turns out not to have died.
- Staying Alive: Definitely did die, but now they're back.
- The useless ability becomes useful...
- They didn't just forget his characterisation - it's to show that:
- Small Town Boredom: Tedious, ordinary place to live.
- Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: ...Well, for now.
- No two characters have the same first name...
One-Winged Angel vs. Sequential Boss vs. Turns Red:
- Just when you thought you were winning a Boss Battle, the boss...
- Stupidity is required...
- Orgasmic Combat: Fight starts to sound like something else.
- Sex Is Violence: Character gets turned on by fighting.
- Hi! I'm a vampire.
Pacifist Run vs. Stealth Run:
- You completed a game without killing enemies...
- Making a new video game character by:
- Parodied Trope: The concept itself is spoofed.
- Played for Laughs: Concept is present in its normal form, but the results/presentation are intended to make you laugh.
- You'll never have another chance to get this awesome item in this Video Game because...
- Two characters are very close friends who...
- The task can only be solved by...
Politically Active Princess vs. Pretty Princess Powerhouse vs. Rebellious Princess vs. Tomboy Princess
- A princess who...
- The people in the ad...
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "I'm gonna kick your ass."
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "I'm kicking your ass."
- Bond One-Liner: "I kicked your ass."
- Quip to Black: "Looks like this man... got his ass kicked." *cut to commercial break*
- An evil team consisting of...
Psycho Supporter vs. Yandere:
- Psychotic Smirk: Small, no teeth, sign of arrogance.
- Slasher Smile: Big, shows teeth, sign of insanity / malice.
Puppy Love vs. Toy Ship:
The Quiet One vs. Silent Bob vs. The Speechless vs. The Voiceless:
- A character's alias is...
Red Shirt vs. Mauve Shirt vs. Sacrificial Lamb vs. Sacrificial Lion
- The doomed character...
Reset Button vs. Snapback:
- Everything is back to normal...
Retcon vs. Revision vs. Rewrite vs. Orwellian Retcon
- Retcon: End of Book One: Alice loves Bob. Start of Book Two: Alice doesn't love Bob.
- Orwellian Retcon: Book One, Second Edition: Alice doesn't love Bob.
- Revision: Extra details added to Alice and Bob's love between books, while you weren't looking.
- Rewrite: Book Two: Alice doesn't love Bob, which means all the stuff that happened on Valentine's Day in the first book also never happened.
- Someone's existence is erased...
- Two girls' close relationship is...