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Playing With / Reality Has No Subtitles

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Basic Trope: Something isn't clearly subtitled like it should.

  • Straight: The dialogue is mostly English, but when Alice speaks to Bob in Russian, the subtitles just say, "[SPEAKING RUSSIAN]".
  • Exaggerated: Everything is subtitled, even the English, with the exception of Alice's Russian, which is outright ignored by the subtitles.
  • Downplayed: Alice's Russian dialogue is subtitled, but the subtitles are in Russian too.
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  • Justified: The subtitles are being written by an In-Universe character who doesn't speak Russian.
  • Inverted: Alice's Russian dialogue is subtitled, but most of the dialogue is subtitled as "[SPEAKING ENGLISH]".
  • Subverted: Initially, Alice's dialogue is just subtitled as "[SPEAKING RUSSIAN]", but eventually the translations come in.
  • Double Subverted: Then, they go away.
  • Parodied: The subtitles look like a translation, but they're translated wrong.
  • Zigzagged: Some of Alice's Russian dialogue is subtitled properly, some of it isn't.
  • Averted:
    • Nobody speaks a language other than English.
    • Alice's Russian dialogue is translated in the subtitles.
  • Enforced: The writers want the viewers to be just as confused as Bob (who also doesn't speak Russian) in order to relate to him.
  • Lampshaded: Bob tries to read the subtitles to help himself understand Alice, but upon seeing that they just say, "[SPEAKING RUSSIAN]", he shouts, "I know what language she's speaking! I just want to understand!"
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  • Invoked: Alice has Medium Awareness and doesn't want the audience to understand her, so she rubs out the subtitles and replaces them with "[SPEAKING RUSSIAN]".
  • Exploited: Alice uses her Russian to get away with a Stealth Insult to Bob.
  • Defied: The subtitles are written by an in-universe character who makes sure to translate.
  • Discussed: "If this was a TV show and it was subtitled, would it translate when I speak Russian?"
  • Conversed: "I was watching this movie and it never subtitled foreign languages. I'm still begging to know what those characters were saying!"
  • Implied: N/A, subtitles are either there or not.
  • Deconstructed:
  • Reconstructed:
  • Played for Laughs: A joke is written instead of a translation.
  • Played for Drama:

Back to Reality Has No Subtitles.

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