Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Totally Radical

Go To

Basic Trope: The writer attempts to appeal to a younger demographic through an out-of-date or awkward interpretation of youth culture. This usually takes the form of outdated/awkward slang.

  • Straight: X-treme Charlie is a superhero that wears a backwards baseball cap, rides a skateboard, and speaks in "hip" nineties slang.
  • Exaggerated: Not a single word that comes from X-treme Charlie's mouth isn't some sort of slang.
  • Advertisement:
  • Downplayed: Teenage characters are inclined to yell, "COOOOOL!" when they see something that's cool.
  • Justified:
    • X-treme Charlie works at a restaurant or club with a nineties theme, so the slang becomes an odd form of jargon to him.
    • X-treme Charlie grew up in a home with no satellite TV, only cable that ran nothing but old nineties shows.
    • X-treme Charlie is very nostalgic, or just fan of old slang. He doesn't care if he sounds outdated.
    • X-treme Charlie lives in the nineties, so the slang fits for the time period of the work's setting.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • X-treme Charlie reveals that the whole slang-slinging sk8ter boy thing was an act put on just to mess with the grownups...
    • X-treme Charlie turns out to be an English professor who only trys to look "cool" to appeal to teenagers.
  • Double Subverted: ...while his real favorite thing is playing rad bitchin' video games.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: X-treme Charlie is supposed to be cool, and how successful this is depends on the writer.
  • Averted:
    • X-treme Charlie is portrayed as an accurate interpretation of a modern-day teenager.
    • Charlie doesn't attempt to be "hip" in the first place.
  • Advertisement:
  • Enforced: "We have to find some way to relate to our demographic and we don't have time to extensively research their lifestyle. Hm... let's throw in some slang from the nineties and call it a day."
  • Lampshaded: "'Totally radical?' Who uses 'totally radical' nowadays?"
  • Invoked: X-treme Charlie deliberately uses his dated "coolness" to induce groans.
  • Exploited: Denise is a spy infiltrating Evil Mart's corporate headquarters. She pulls some strings to get X-Treme Charlie hired as the company's mascot, knowing his aggressive lack of coolness would alienate potential customers and ruin the business.
  • Defied: X-treme Charlie researches present-day youth culture to avoid coming off as dated.
  • Discussed: "Do you think we should maybe tell X-treme Charlie that the slang he uses hasn't been used since 1993?" "Nah — it'd be funnier to see how long it takes for him to discover he's not cutting edge anymore for himself."
  • Conversed: "Do these writers seriously think anyone talks like that these days, much less kids?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • The two generations can't understand each other, since the kids have built up their own incomprehensible-to-outsiders culture that they don't want adults being a part of, and the adults find their culture strange and disturbing.
    • X-treme Charlie's mannerisms reflect an excessive nostalgia for the nineties, one that causes psychological problems for him. He is so convinced that everything was better back then that he struggles to function in the present-day world.
  • Reconstructed: X-treme Charlie accepts the flaws of the nineties, comes to terms with the changes that occurred between the nineties and today, and adapts to these changes. But he also finds a healthy balance of nostalgia. He still sports his dated aesthetic with pride, but as part of his own unique identity in the present rather than as an escape from the present.
  • Plotted A Good Waste: X-Treme Charlie is a superhero who rides a skateboard, speaks in '90s slang, and wears a backwards baseball cap. It turns out to be an indication that he's secretly a time traveler, and doesn't know what's currently cool.
  • Played For Laughs: There is an elaborate, intentionally ridiculous slang that X-treme Charlie uses.
  • Played For Drama: X-treme Charlie is a Manchild who desperately tries to sound cool in order to deny that he is aging.

Dude, you should like, totally return to Totally Radical! It's the bizee's knizees, n00b!

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: