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Win the Crowd

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"I wasn't the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd, and you win your freedom."
Proximo, Gladiator

So the Coming Attractions got lots of people to watch the first episode of a new show. But is that enough to keep them watching?

Of course not. If the audience thinks your show sucks, then they change the channel and know once again to Never Trust a Trailer.


So basically you need the viewers to keep watching. While that is obvious as hell, the thing is that it's not always obvious exactly how you do it. One might think that writing a good show is how you do it, but not really. Not only does that seemingly eliminate most writers, there's also the fact that viewers have different tastes about what is good and what isn't.

This is why subjectively good writing is less important for viewership than simply getting the viewers to like the show. Thus it's a good idea to write what your audience likes. This is why so many shows are Strictly Formula.

The very beginning of the show is often crucial for this. That's why the first two to three minutes of a show almost invariably either has a hook for the rest of the show, has a large percentage of the best jokes/tensest moments/biggest explosions, or has a combination of those. This is almost always where you will find the Quip to Black.


Regardless, it's important to keep the viewers liking your show. Even it isn't immediate, you can still make the show work eventually if the suits see the potential. But that can often be harder than winning the audience over.

Also beware of Pandering to the Base.

Compare with Growing the Beard (which can also win viewers), Killer App (which wins the crowd for a system), And the Fandom Rejoiced, Win Back the Crowd (If you lost your aforementioned crowd in the past, but managed to get it back) and Moment of Awesome.

Contrast with Jumping the Shark.


Example subpage:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • The 2012 anime adaptation of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, despite the series' trademark style being already on display, opened with a first episode that many new viewers found extremely downbeat. It didn't start to truly win a new crowd until episode three, when Dio becomes a vampire, transitioning the series away from Victorian melodrama and towards fantasy.
  • Many people don't like the first episode of Code Geass until the final few moments.
  • It gets a lot easier to get people into Higurashi: When They Cry after they get to the first psychotic outburst.
  • Assuming you don't already know how it goes, let's just say you should watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica until the third episode before you decide whether or not to drop it.
  • Many Gundam fans didn't start to enjoy Gundam AGE until they got to the last three episodes of the First Generation (that's episodes 13, 14, and 15.)
  • Thanks to the Compressed Adaptation, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, is criticized for not winning the crowd until nearly twenty episodes, when it finally starts uncompressing. However, many critics and fans of the series let this slide considering the fact that the remaining forty episodes are widely hailed as some of the best animated television in recent memory.
    • A variation also happens with its predecessor, the 2003 anime. The first two episodes are great, but the next ten contain rather skippable fillers as at this time, the anime was stalling for the manga to release new plot points. It was only until episode thirteen that the plot picked up again with the appearance of Scar, and especially since episode twenty five after the author Arakawa asked them to make a different ending from the manga, that the anime went to an entirely new route that have many fans praised as being very great, dark Seinen.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Gladiator is the Trope Namer, and the opening battle likely was this for many.
  • Despite all the apprehension about Paddington, a new trailer that came out Halloween week which showcased Ben Whishaw's voice as Paddington, as well as an actual plot, won people over. Watch it here.
  • The opening crawl and the kickass John Williams theme won the crowd for Star Wars and that even before the shot of the puny Tantive IV being chased by the miles huge Star Destroyer.
  • Scanners. You know the scene.
  • The opening of the first Superman film as the score by John Williams really gets going as Superman's chest symbol appears, marking the beginning of the Super Hero film as a big time movie genre.
  • The much more Turtle-centric second trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), featuring franchise-style humor and playfulness from the Turtles, impressive action scenes, and a Money-Making Shot of the Shredder, is generally agreed to be a much better advertisement for the film and has turned some detractors around into supporters while in general calming the fanbase.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows:
    • This seems to be in effect after the divisive previous film, as the changes regarding Shredder and the Foot to make them look Truer to the Text have been better received. Same with the inclusion and casting of fan favorites Casey, Bebop and Rocksteady.
    • The first trailer starts off rather serious but quickly goes for as much goofy action comedy as you can fit into a single trailer. Stephen Amell shows up as Casey Jones saving April with a hockey stick and topping it off with Bebop and Rocksteady appearing, looking very accurate to their original cartoon appearances, right down to the purple glasses, mohawk and goggles. Even those who disliked the first movie admitted they loved this trailer.

    Live Action TV 
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation won some fans by growing the beard in the second season, won a few more with the acclaimed third season episodes, but with "The Best of Both Worlds", even the holdouts were won over.
    Riker: Mr. Worf, fire.
  • Doctor Who achieved this when introducing the Daleks, resulting in a series that was originally going to run for just 13 weeks lasting for 26 years. That's more than one hundred times as long as planned.
    • Then, after 16 years of being off the air, came back and became even more ridiculously popular than it was during the old series and has been on ever since.
    • Thanks to the built-in retooling, it gets to (and maybe needs to) keep winning the crowd. Steven Moffatt said that he expected it to take about six episodes for Matt Smith to be accepted as the Doctor. As things turned out during test screenings, it took closer to six minutes.
    The Doctor: Can I have an apple?
  • The first few episodes of 24 were solid, but it was the sixth episode, where Janet York was murdered in her hospital bed by the man who, up until that point, the audience had believed to be her father and Jack Bauer was told his daughter had been kidnapped and would be killed if he didn't comply with the terrorist's instructions, that proved the show could live up to its hype.
  • The end of the second episode of Lost.

    Television Networks 
  • The Oprah Winfrey Network struggled until January 2013, when Lance Armstrong was interviewed by Oprah, and admitted to doping on national television.

    Video Games 
  • Mass Effect 2 has an In-Universe example. If you don't have enough paragon/renegade points, you can still rally the crowd to have Tali acquitted if you saved Kal'Reeger and didn't send Vetor to Cerberus.
  • An In-Universe example is the PlayStation 2 game, Shadow of Rome, where the segments that have you play as Agrippa the gladiator requires you to have a lot of flash and impressive moves, because if you play for speed and simple efficiency, the crowd wouldn't like your performance and it's Game Over.
  • In-universe again in Chapter 3 of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, you have to defeat your opponents in a particularly spectacular manner in order to advance to the next rank.
    • Winning the crowd over during regular fights (yes, you're on stage) can earn you bonuses Star Power for style.
  • In-universe yet again in Super Smash Bros., where the crowd will often chant out one Smasher's name if they're doing well.
    • Super Smash Bros. Melee added the Bonus Mode, where the game is determined not solely by the number of knockouts in a match, but by the point total of every bonus they achieved. While this does include knockouts in a single match, it also factors in how an opponent is defeated, how often you used a move consecutively (subtracting points if you spam), how many times you were knocked out, and even whether you fought at all. Essentially, the game switches from a last man standing gametype to a contest of style, forcing players to change up how they fight to keep things interesting.
  • Splatoon
    • Critical reaction shows that a lot of people want to buy a Wii U for this game. To break it down:
      • This is Nintendo's first new title made by an EAD team to feature a new cast of characters since Pikmin in 2001. While Nintendo does experiment with gameplay, they often mash up new ideas with either Mario or Kirby to decrease the risk of failure. The fact that the company had enough faith in this idea to make it an original property impressed a lot of people.
      • Nintendo has also given it a notable marketing push in stark contrast to their other title, The Wonderful 101, which received next to no promotion.
      • It was also considered to be one of the best shooters in all of E3 2014. Keep in mind that this is a game that is competing with several established big-name franchises, is Lighter and Softer than the competition, and is an exclusive for a console that has been struggling to find a market.
      • The Nintendo Treehouse videos demoing the game emphasized its unique, yet intense competitive aspects, focusing heavily on claiming and defending portions of the map as opposed to scoring kill streaks. Nintendo's most competitive game prior to this is Super Smash Bros., surprising viewers and attendees that they succeeded in making a viable shooter where other Japanese developers fell short.
      • A press event on 23 March 2015 showed off more multiplayer maps and weapons and part of the single-player mode for the first time, which had critics even more excited for the game in their hands-on features.
      • A "Global Testfire" special demo for the general public was hosted in three one-hour periods between May 8 and 9. Nearly all those who played it felt their hype was justified.
      • By 10 May 2015 (nearly three weeks before release) Splatoon has taken the #1 spot in all of the games on Amazon Spain. It's also the #11 on Amazon UK, while the amiibo bundle is in the top 10. On Amazon Japan, Splatoon is sitting in the 1, 2 and 3 spots in gaming overall. Amazon France has the game at #3 and Amazon Germany has it in the top 20. In America it's #16, though that's mainly due to the fact that it's lumped in with peripherals and gift cards; limited to actual games it's #6.
      • The game sold out almost instantly at most retailers in Japan. Nintendo released an apology for the shortages via Twitter and promised that new shipments would be arriving the following week.
      • Splatoon won the Video Game Awards 2015 for Best Shooter. It was up against Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Star Wars: Battlefront, Halo 5: Guardians, and Destiny: The Taken King, all of which were very hyped games with bigger budgets and ad campaigns than Splatoon, as well as those four games all being a part of already well-established franchises made by companies far more experienced in making shooters than Nintendo, making Splatoon quite the dark horse winner.
    • When they were first revealed, the Squid Sisters, Callie and Marie, received a lukewarm reception, many people finding their design jarring with the rest of the game and overall rather creepy. But once the game was released and that their personalities became more apparent, people progressively warmed up to them, to the point that they are now the biggest Ensemble Darkhorses of the game, eventually having amiibos in their likeness and doing real life holographic concerts to fans eager to see their "squid waifus".
  • With Ground Zeroes, the prologue game for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, there were two things that fans were very skeptical about: Kiefer Sutherland as Snake and its villain, Skull Face (as well as his voice actor, James Horan), with none of the trailers particularly convincing them. Each won many fans over when the game was leaked and eventually came out. For Sutherland, it was at the end of the campaign, due to the emotion put in during those final scenes. For Skull Face, it was the interrogation tapes and end credits, due to Horan's chilling and terrifying performance, and how shockingly horrific his actions in the tapes were.
  • Another in-universe example (used as a game mechanic no less) is pro wrestler Beowulf from Skullgirls. Performing flashy actions like holding the standing light punch to channel Hulk Hogan or dropping the mic will hype up the in-game crowd, giving Beowulf the ability to perform multiple grab moves after using either Alpha Maul or Wulfamania!, as well as do an extremely damaging pin move if the crowd is fully hyped.
  • One of the bigger contentious points with Super Robot Wars UX was unimpressive attack animations and sprite configurations. The initial Super Robot Wars BX trailer showcases more animation fluidity and smoother sprites, such as Shin Mazinger, quelling some UX naysayers. However, Broken Base is still in play as the latter isn't necessarily applied to all units shown in the trailer, most notably the eponymous Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.
  • The biggest thing Banpresto has ever done: releasing both Super Robot Wars Original Generation The Moon Dwellers and Super Robot Wars V, a licensed SRW at that, for the Playstation 4 and PlayStation Vita in English was universally praised by fans. Of course, the games are only available in English in Southeast Asia, but it's at best negligible thanks to both systems having no region-lock whatsoever.
  • Then they topped it off with Super Robot Wars T for fulfilling what many fans wanted. From the return of Mobile Fighter G Gundam and then putting them in the same crowd with GaoGaiGar and Gunbuster, all three being lauded as some of the non-Holy Trinity most Hot-Blooded 1990's shows that ever embraced the SRW history... to the killer combo of newcomers: Arcadia of My Youth - Endless Orbit SSX (one of the anime to feature the ever-famous Captain Harlock), Cowboy Bebop and one series that has been requested from many decades: Magic Knight Rayearth. And yes, they will still come with English language... and it's available for Nintendo Switch too.
  • Little Town Hero won a lot of people over when it was announced that Toby Fox of Undertale fame will be composing the music.
  • The mere fact that Fight Of Animals has Rollback netcode gave it a great deal of good publicity at launch, with some players going as far as to declare it better than major fighting games like Street Fighter V and Tekken 7 due to that one point alone.

    Web Comics 
  • It's been noted by both Howard Taylor and Phil and Kaja Foglio that every single page of a webcomic has to be like this, since it's likely that for someone that one page is the only one they'll ever see. Given the length of the average webcomic page, more than likely it will fill up most of that space.
  • Homestuck is an interesting example. It was first created on the heels of Problem Sleuth, then rather popular in its own right. Andrew Hussie wanted to create a more serious story than the heavily Rule of Cool and Rule of Funny fueled world of Problem Sleuth, so he introduced the more dramatic aspects gradually, winning his old crowd over with the beginning and undergoing Cerebus Syndrome deliberately once they were already reading. However, the more dramatic and overcomplicated aspects of Homestuck later became much more famous than the silly humour, meaning that most of its fans started reading after hearing tales of the less Problem Sleuth-like later acts. For these fans, the beginning of the comic is actually generally the hardest to get through, and it won't be until they see signs of that complexity and badassery that comes later on that they'll be won - when that happens will vary, but it's generally somewhere between [S] WV?: Rise Up and the end of act 4 flash [S] Descend.

    Web Video 
  • When she initially joined the Yogscast, Kim Richards had something of an uphill battle and struggled to make a fanbase for herself. Her voice (which some found annoying at first), lack of Minecraft skill and her supposed tendency to shout. In time, however, she won over the crowd with more collaborations with Simon Lane, Duncan Jones and Hannah Rutherford which were agreed to be entertaining. Then she learned how to efficiently play Minecraft to the point that she was able to defeat the entirety of Hat Films at once, with her alleged hammy nature being toned down around the same time. Finally, her eagerness to interact with fans, particularly the LGBTQ+ community, have made her among the most popular Yogscast members, particularly on Tumblr.


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