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Basic Trope: A character can communicate with someone who they logically shouldn't be able to (like an alien, or a non-human Earth animal) and it comes on suddenly, with no explanation.

  • Straight: Aliens invade, and they don't understand humans, and humans, for the most part, don't understand them. But then Alice says, "I understand them!" and begins translating and negotiating with the aliens.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice suddenly can talk to aliens, interdimensional beings, and animals!
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    • Alice can suddenly talk to plants or inanimate objects!
    • Alice can suddenly understand baby babbling, which logically shouldn't be understood by anybody since it's just babies experimenting with sounds.
    • It's a whole crowd of people who can communicate with the aliens.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice is not very fluent in alien speak and makes a lot of mistakes, but still understands them to some extent.
    • It seems sudden, but Alice was seen reading a book entitled "How to Communicate With Alien Life" in the background.
  • Justified: Alice is some kind of linguistic genius who can pick up a language if exposed to it for a certain amount of time, and this extends to alien languages.
  • Inverted:
    • These aliens have a language which most of the characters understand, but then Alice reveals that she doesn't.
    • The aliens reveal that they can speak English, with no explanation.
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    • There is a whole plot about Alice learning to communicate with the aliens.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice tries to talk to the aliens, but fails.
    • It turns out that Alice had a spell put on her which made her able to talk to the aliens.
    • That turns out to be an alien pretending to be Alice.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But then Alice tries again and succeeds, or Bob can speak to them, or Alice can understand her dog.
    • But when the spell wears off, she can still talk to them, or the "wizard" who allegedly put the spell on Alice was a fraud, or it turns out that he cast a defective spell.
    • But the real Alice can speak to the aliens too.
  • Parodied:
  • Zigzagged:
    • It's hard to tell if Alice can actually understand the aliens, or if she's just trying to communicate with them by taking wild guesses.
    • Alice can inexplicably understand aliens and dogs, but not cats or squirrels.
  • Averted: No one spontaneously develops the ability to understand gibberish.
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  • Enforced: The writers wanted a way to have them be able to communicate with the aliens, but got lazy and/or thought it would be funnier if it was unexplained.
  • Lampshaded: "I didn't know you could talk to aliens, Alice!"
  • Invoked: Bob exposes Alice to as much of the aliens' language as possible, hoping she will somehow learn it.
  • Exploited: They use Alice's uncanny ability to negotiate and prevent antagonism and possibly even war.
  • Defied:
    • Alice makes sure everyone is aware that she's trying to learn the aliens' language.
    • The moment Alice meets Bob, the first thing she says is, "You know that alien race everyone's talking about? Well I understand their language!".
    • The aliens prevent humans from learning their language.
  • Discussed: "And Alice and I were surrounded by aliens, but then she just started talking to them in their native language! It was the weirdest thing ever!"
  • Conversed: "Now how did that character learn to speak alien-talk? Were the writers lazy or is she actually a genius?"
  • Implied: Alice is seen in the background having what appears to be a legitimate conversation with an alien.
  • Deconstructed:
  • Reconstructed:
  • Played for Laughs: A Running Gag is that Alice is smart, but due to her eccentricities, people think she's stupid. Her doubters try to brush Alice's ability off as "just a coincidence".
  • Played for Drama: Alice knows what the aliens want... they want to kill them!

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