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Playing With / Applied Phlebotinum

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Basic Trope: Soft science material fuel.

  • Straight: Alice asks Bob how his time machine works. Bob replies that it runs on phlebotinum, "an incredible substance that can control the flow of time around it." Little to no explanation is actually given as to how the machine, or phlebotinum, works.
  • Exaggerated: Made of Phlebotinum
  • Downplayed: We get some specifics on how the machine is designed, but where it gets all its energy from is attributed to phlebotinum.
  • Justified:
    • Phlebotinum is Made of Magic and functions much differently than any other substance on Earth.
    • One of the properties of phlebotinum is that it constantly blanks out any persons' knowledge of it.
    • Bellisario's Maxim
  • Inverted: Bob's modern coffee maker runs on phlebotinum, a highly detailed substance which the author soon delivers an Info Dump about.
  • Subverted: "Years of science and hard research have been put into developing the element phlebotinum. It interacts with this machine by..."
  • Double Subverted: Despite its scientific background, phlebotinum later goes Beyond the Impossible by clearly giving off more energy than could be stored in it.
  • Parodied: Bob gets nervous when Alice asks about his time machine, and throws out some random Techno Babble before admitting he just "put magic shit in a box and now it works."
  • Zig Zagged: Phlebotinum does not respect the laws of thermodynamics except in scenes where it's pointed out how it complies with the laws of thermodynamics.
  • Averted:
    • Nobody asks about phlebotinum.
    • Phlebotinum is realistically written from the start, and its capabilities are limited.
  • Enforced: The audience (presumably) wants to know how the time machine works despite being too ignorant for hard sci-fi.
  • Lampshaded: "That doesn't sound very respectful to the laws of the universe, but okay."
  • Invoked: Charlie creates large amounts of a magical substance, and leaves it behind for the scientific community to put to use.
  • Exploited: Alice distracts Bob from his tasks by getting him to figure out the properties of phlebotinum.
  • Defied: Alice keeps pressing Bob for more information until he fully describes how phlebotinum works.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???


This blue text is a phlebotinum-powered gateway to the main page.

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