Essentially, any of the tropes on this wiki used to change the story of or sell some kind of media, especially if they're overhyped. When fans use it, it's usually used derisively, indicating that it's so bad or annoying, it detracts from the inherent fun and interest they have for whatever the gimmick was made for.
Tropes that fit into this include:
- Added Alliterative Appeal
- Dancing Bear
- Evil Twin
- Luke, I Am Your Father
- Ratings Stunt
- Recycled In Space
- Shocking Swerve
- Strangled by the Red String
- Tonight, Someone Dies
- Tonight, Someone Kisses
- Very Special Episode
- Wangst (because True Art Is Angsty)
- Widget Series (where the gimmick makes the show)
Among a lot of others. Feel free to add to the list.
Note that Gimmick is also a bit of Professional Wrestling jargon, used to refer to a wrestler's defining character trait. Unlike the general usage, this does not have any particularly negative overtones.
In Video Games, a gimmick is a gameplay mode or element that is unique to that particular game, i.e. hasn't been done by anyone before. Sometimes it's an entirely new control scheme, other times it's something as simple as a minigame played for five seconds once in an eighty hour campaign. Gimmicks aren't always seen favourably, often being something that detracts, and only included in a failed attempt to stand out. The term Gimmicky controls is often seen in reviews, and it is almost always negatively used, to indicate that the game in question has poorly thought out or implemented controls that make playing trickier than it really needs to be.
Not to be confused with Mr. Gimmick, a NES game.