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Laconic Trope Distinctions / J to R

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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.

Pages: A to C | D to F | G to I | J to R | S to Z

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Jack-of-All-Stats vs. Master of None:

Joke Item vs. Lethal Joke Item vs. Nerf Arm vs. Not Completely Useless vs. Scrappy Weapon:

Jumping the Shark vs. Ruined FOREVER:

  • 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.

Junk Rare vs. Promotional Powerless Piece of Garbage:

Justified Trope vs. Truth in Television:


Kick the Dog vs. Poke the Poodle vs. Jumping Off the Slippery Slope vs. Moral Event Horizon:

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

The Kid with the Remote Control vs. Kid with the Leash

Kill 'Em All vs. Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies:

Kill It with Fire vs. Playing with Fire:

Knight in Sour Armor vs. The Snark Knight:

Knight Templar vs. Well-Intentioned Extremist:

Kryptonite Is Everywhere vs Weaksauce Weakness


Lame Pun Reaction vs. Stealth Pun vs. World of Pun

Leeroy Jenkins vs. Spanner in the Works vs. Unwitting Instigator of Doom:

Legacy Character vs. Legacy Immortality vs. Suspiciously Similar Substitute vs. The Nth Doctor vs. The Other Darrin vs. Replacement Scrappy vs. Time-Shifted Actor:

Lesser of Two Evils vs. A Lighter Shade of Black:

Life Will Kill You vs. We All Die Someday

Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My! vs. World of Funny Animals vs. World of Mammals

A world populated by...

Long-Runner Tech Marches On vs. Technology Marches On

Love Potion vs. Sex Magic

Luke, I Am Your Father vs. Luke, You Are My Father


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.

Machine Empathy vs. Technopath

  • Character can spot changes in machine equipment...

Made of Iron vs Super Toughness

Major Injury Underreaction vs. Only a Flesh Wound

Making Use of the Twin vs. Twin Switch

Manchild vs. One of the Kids

  • Bob acts like a child...

Man of Wealth and Taste vs. Wicked Cultured

Marriage Before Romance vs. Perfectly Arranged Marriage:

Mary Sue vs. most of the subtypes

May–December Romance vs. December–December Romance vs. Mayfly–December Romance

Meanwhile, in the Future… vs. Portal to the Past vs. San Dimas Time

  • 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

Metal Slime vs. Piñata Enemy

  • Piñata Enemy: A videogame enemy that reaps special rewards on death.
    • Metal Slime: ...Except they're tanky and prone to fleeing combat first.

Mighty Whitey vs. White Man's Burden

  • A white hero encounters a group of minorities.
    • Mighty Whitey: The hero joins the tribe and quickly learns to be better than them at everything.
    • White Man's Burden: The hero sees how pitiful their lives are, then works to make things better for them.

Mile-Long Ship vs. Planet Spaceship vs. Starship Luxurious vs. Unnecessarily Large Vessel

Millionaire Playboy vs. Rich Idiot With No Day Job vs. Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense vs. Uncle Pennybags vs. Upper-Class Twit

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.

Moral Dissonance vs. What the Hell, Hero? vs. Values Dissonance:

Morality Chain vs. Morality Pet:

Morph Weapon vs. Shapeshifter Weapon:

Wasteful Wishing vs. Mundane Wish

  • A character is granted wishes...

Mundane Utility vs. Not the Intended Use vs. Power Perversion Potential:

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.

Murder Is the Best Solution vs. Violence Is the Only Option:

My Nayme Is vs. Spell My Name with an "S":


Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom vs. Overly Long Name vs. Sesquipedalian Smith vs. Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!

Narnia Time vs. Year Outside, Hour Inside vs. Year Inside, Hour Outside

Narrow Parody vs. Shallow Parody:

Nazis with Gnarly Weapons vs. Stupid Jetpack Hitler vs. Ghostapo

Near-Villain Victory vs. You Can't Thwart Stage One

Negative Continuity vs. Status Quo Is God:

Nerf vs. Obvious Rule Patch

The Neutral Zone vs. Truce Zone:

Never Grew Up vs. Not Growing Up Sucks vs. Not Allowed to Grow Up

Nietzsche Wannabe vs. Übermensch:

  • 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! vs. Not Quite Dead vs. Staying Alive:

Not Completely Useless vs. This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman:

Not Himself vs. OOC Is Serious Business vs. Out-of-Character Alert vs. Out-of-Character Moment:

Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here vs. Small Town Boredom:

Not in My Contract vs. Not What I Signed on For:



One Mario Limit vs. One Steve Limit:

One-Winged Angel vs. Sequential Boss vs. Turns Red:

Only Idiots May Pass vs. Stupidity Is the Only Option vs. Violation of Common Sense:

Orgasmic Combat vs. Sex Is Violence

The Other Darrin vs. The Other Marty vs. The Nth Doctor

Our Vampires Are Different vs. Vampire Variety Pack vs. Your Vampires Suck

Overly Long Gag vs. Overused Running Gag:

  • Overly Long Gag: This gag goes on and on and onnote  until it becomes funny by that virtue alone.
  • Overused Running Gag: This gag has appeared so many times it's not funny anymore.


Pacifist Run vs. Stealth Run:

Palette Swap vs. Underground Monkey

  • Making a new video game character by:

Parodied Trope vs. Played for Laughs:

  • 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.

Permanently Missable Content vs. Temporary Online Content

Platonic Life-Partners vs. Like Brother and Sister vs. Better as Friends vs. Just Friends

Plot Tailored to the Party vs. This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman:

Politically Active Princess vs. Pretty Princess Powerhouse vs. Rebellious Princess vs. Tomboy Princess

The Power of Cheese vs. Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket

The Power of Cheese vs. Product as Superhero

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

The Psycho Rangers vs. Quirky Miniboss Squad:

Psycho Supporter vs. Yandere:

Psychotic Smirk vs. Slasher Smile:

Puppy Love vs. Toy Ship:

Put Them All Out of My Misery vs. Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds


The Quiet One vs. Silent Bob vs. The Speechless vs. The Voiceless:


Real Name Alias vs. Sue Donym

  • A character's alias is...

Really Fond of Sleeping vs. Sleepyhead

Red Shirt vs. Mauve Shirt vs. Sacrificial Lamb vs. Sacrificial Lion

Religion of Evil vs. Scary Amoral Religion

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.
  • 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.

Ret-Gone vs. Unperson:

  • Someone's existence is erased...

Romantic Two-Girl Friendship vs. Schoolgirl Lesbians:

Rousing Speech vs. He's Back vs. Heroic Resolve vs. "No More Holding Back" Speech vs. Shut Up, Hannibal!:


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: