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Playing With / Speech Bubbles

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Basic Trope: Floating shapes with text or images appear when characters speak.

  • Straight: When someone talks or thinks, a speech bubble appears over his/her head with a text.
  • Exaggerated: The narration and characters discuss and comment on everything that happens in the comic to the point entire panels consist of nothing but speech bubbles.
  • Downplayed: ???
  • Justified: Characters in the series have trouble communicating (language barrier, outer space, muteness, etc) and they've invented floating billboards as a means of communication.
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  • Inverted: A white circle is talking and has a human with text in it appearing on its head.
  • Subverted: Alice and Bob are talking, but what they say is not shown to the audience.
  • Double Subverted: The concluding remarks of the conversation appear in speech bubbles.
  • Parodied: As Bob is talking, Charlie takes out a marker and writes something embarrassing in Bob's speech bubble.
  • Zig Zagged: Some panels have speech bubbles, others don't.
  • Averted: The comic does not have any dialogue.
  • Enforced: Speech bubbles provide an effective contrasting backdrop for words, making them the typical method of showing speech, thought and narration in sequential art.
  • Lampshaded: Characters snarkily comment that the Big Bad's black and red Speech Bubble is tacky.
  • Invoked: Bob writes embarrassing things on a speech bubble cut-out and pastes it on a picture of Charlie, or on a wall he is standing in front of.
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  • Exploited: Bob doesn't understand German, so he reads Hans' speech balloon and writes it into a translator program.
  • Defied:
    • The author/artist write on the bottom or margins, they use an audio track, or have a completely silent story.
    • Bob doesn't want the reader's to hear his conversations, so he dumps ink over any speech balloon.
  • Discussed: "I wonder what happens to old speech balloons? You think they just vanish or get recycled by balloon fairies?"
  • Conversed: "Wow! Look at those gorgeous speech balloon in this Show Within a Show!" "Yeah, but they're too artsy to read quickly."
  • Deconstructed: Instead of using Speech Bubbles the artist uses Rebus Bubbles. The comic has empty speech bubbles so the reader can write the story. Every panel is a Wall of Text with a little cut-out window showing the story's events,
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  • Reconstructed: The artist uses speech bubbles as an organic part of the art and narrative, using the shape, color and font to convey information.
  • Played For Laughs: The speech bubbles are physical objects that consistently get in the way of the action or are used as flotation devices in the event of a crash.
  • Played For Drama: Bob has been trying to tell Alice that he's in love with her, but Alice is unfortunately blind, and cannot see the floating speech bubbles containing his fiery Love Confession.

Back to Speech Bubbles

Example of: