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Will have to start:

Did NOT start:


TPM lacks any kind of useful dramatic device.

I'll add this: In the first five minutes of Star Wars, Vader walks into the carnage of battle, picks a captured soldier up by the neck, holds him dangling in midair at arm's length and questions him before offhandedly snapping his neck with one hand and tossing the body aside. Bad guy established in less than 2 minutes. While it is cheezy sci-fi schlock, it is also effective storytelling. You knew right off the bat that Darth Vader was an evil badass that you didn't want to get involved with.

Darth Maul gets introduced half way through the movie and despite the cool makeup we have to be told that he is a bad guy. Also, despite being a much better stunt man and athlete and having much cooler fight choreography, Maul never reaches the level that Vader does in that introductory scene. Therefore his defeat is no more intriguing than getting past the chompy things on the assembly line. He's not a character, he's just another obstacle for our hero to jump over.

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There's always worse things coming. If you run once, and it doesn't work, you'll spend your life running. They've seen those people... homeless, near-mindless drifters, always trying to stay ahead of "worse." They weren't willing to chose that for their families.

Being poor means fighting to be treated like a human being.

i knew that if our luck turned they would ostracise me

Up here, the reason they are doing good works for the relocated people is because that is the "in" thing to do and it's looking good for the church and so forth. At least that's a motivation for many of the helpers. There are always the true Christians and humanitarians.

World War I recruiting posters. causes people to hurt themselves or other people. attitudes. It may do. I added Kiss of Life due to authorial fiat. Depicting lip-locking with a near-corpse or

Belief Makes You Stupid.

openly defies not just physics but the most elementary logic. Just That Good

Rule Of Funny


prone to inflation. Flight... [[ac:without wings!]] was without a whiff of the Required Secondary Powers.


In space... [[ac:without a suit!]]

  • In some Star Wars drafts, Darth Vader was to board the rebel transport while it was still in open space. Hence the armor and the breathing mask.
  • In Macross/Robotech, Breetai the Proud Warrior Race Guy is ejected into space and shows his constitution by scaling it on the outside and making it back in.

Atmospheric re-entry... [[ac:without a ship!]]

Falling... [[ac:without a parachute!]]

  • One of the better sequences in Animatrix.


  • Bob from Bob And George can kill holograms. This later receives a forced Hand Wave, but the rationale at the time is that he's just that good.
  • Homer Simpson of The Simpsons and Jon Arbuckle of Garfield are so bad at cooking that breakfast cereal bursts into flame when they pour milk on it.
  • Vexorg in the webcomic Here Is A Question is so strong and tough that he doesn't have a brain - only a nuclear warhead.
  • Eight Bit Theater loves this trope. Thief is sneaky enough to steal a new outfit from his future self. Black Belt is bad enough at navigating to break the laws of physics and wander outside the normal confines of space-time. Fighter is strong enough to fold a hole into itself, and seems to hold a knack for the definitionally impossible; this scene receives an explanation a few strips later, but that doesn't diminish the one, single, sublime moment. Black Mage is both destructive and irritating enough to fire lasers from his eyes, wile wielding no power but that of an escalating mayhem montage.
    (Thief sneaks several hundred meters upwards without any method of gaining altitude)
    Thief: Don't even ask. It wouldn't make sense anyway.
  • The sticky-fingered filcher known as Carmen Sandiego, star of more than a dozen computer games and passive works, could've surely made off with the equator if she'd put her mind to it.
  • Tabitha Smith in Nextwave is a blonde who done growed up in a trailer park. When a villain traps everything in the vicinity with a mind into a fiendish Lotus-Eater Machine, she goes completely unaffected.
    Tabitha: "The little guy did something to your heads. I gave him the explodo because I am clever."
  • The eponymous gunslinger in Lucky Luke is fast enough to out-draw his own shadow.
  • Batman may not have superpowers, but he can breathe in space because he's Batman.
  • Max, the deranged lagomorph of Sam And Max Freelance Police, has penetrated an invulnerable barrier. The franchise seems fond of giving Max impossible properties for no reason whatsoever: Max gives absurd results in carbon dating, Max has no DNA and is formally considered a mineral.

  • This sort of tomfoolery is explicit and codified in Narbonic, and fits Girl Genius with only the slightest of fanwanks. The Mad Scientists can build physically impossible things because it's them doing it.

The ultimate example being a 3x3 grid showing every alignment with varying pictures and captions, but the same subject: Batman. Here it is. (Warning to dial-up users: It's a BIG picture.)

Words of praise for metahumor.

Declaration of an intrisically degenerating nature of Running and Once an Episode gags. Elaboration that effects of humor get stale by repetition (Link to exception), requring an escalation in variants to stay usable. Biting yet affectionate snark with just a hint of superiority.

Proposal for wringing slightly more life out of old gags by formula template Bashful admittance of rarity. Note of the virtual quarantee of a state of No Fourth Wall due to high level of Genre Savvy. Needless self-referential caution against overuse. Dismissal of a logical flaw that's obvious to anyone who obsessively analyzes TV shows and other media.

Horizontal line. Formal indication of the beginning of a collection of instances.

Dot. Mention of recent Sam & Max: Season One Adventure Game. Description of cheerfully anarchistic atmosphere that allows trope execution without even breaking the fourth wall. Admiration of psychotic lagomorphs. Quote:

Sam: Random but innocuous comment.
Max: Irreverant reply that hints at mental instability!

Dot. Mention of the band "Da Vinci's Notebook" and its elaborate track Title Of The Song. Expression of a mix of awe and terror. Self-explanatory reference to The Title Of The Trope. Link. Order to listen to the song without delay. Quote:

Penitent admission of wrongdoing
Discovery of the depth of my affection
Regret over the lateness of my epiphany

Dot. Mention of a concise skewering of The Twilight Zone on Futurama. Link of questionable legality.

Dot. Mention of the 21st-century trend of creatively named self-aware parodies (expression of disgust at content), such as Scary Movie and Not Another Teen Movie.

Dot. Mention of a spontaneous IRC execution of the trope and its status as the most liked quote in all of Horrendous pun of some sort. Link. (Clarification that Miles_Prowler was the temporary name of Fishfood.)


Mirrors are eerie things for the mundane tools that they've become. They show a space that isn't there and a you that isn't you, the sides wrong, different details accentuated, and every once in a while don't you get the feeling that the reflection might blink both eyes at the same time?

It's not surprising that mirror images have been thought to do far more than deflect photons.

reveal or even capture the soul or inner self. This is why Dracula doesn't reflect, and where the superstition about seven years of bad luck comes from. Expect fiction to milk the symbolism for all it's worth.

1. Letting the inner self out

Split personality


  • [[Heroes]] has a character start seeing her alternate self in mirrors (and spend a lot of time hammering on them from the inside while not dominant). An illusionist later throws her for a total loop by posing as that alternate.
  • Gollum in the Lord Of The Rings movies.
  • A couple of mirror images talk in the Harry Potter books, but this is not particularily dramatic or alarming. The mirrors are just wisealecks.

2. Showing the outer self in In ordinary circumstances, a miorror that shows what the user looks like is


  • In Quantum Leap, the protagonist Sam does this all the time to show who he's essentially possessed for that particular episode, while he and the viewers otherwise see him as himself. This has resulted in a few nice Tomato in the Mirror surprises as well as a shot of Sam wearing an evening gown, a sash, a tiara and the most embarassed smile in the history of television.
  • In an episode of Weird Science, the geeky duo find out when they see girls in the mirror that the local Artificial Human slash Trickster Mentor has decided to give them an up-close look at gender issues. It takes them less than fifteen seconds to end up staring slack-jawed at said mirror, one of them with his shirt up to his armpits.

3. Funhouse slaughter extragavanza

Less traumatizing (in the psychological sense, not in the "getting a foot of steel shoved through your ribcage" sense)


  • Reboot
  • The video game Quest for Glory 3

takia. Alkanut jo pari vk sitten, siihen käyttänyt Buranaa. Pelännyt säären halkeavan ja sen vuoksi hälyttänyt ambulanssia. Tänään runsaasti nauttinut alkoholia,

, josta lihasta pursuaa ulos. Runsas vuoto.

Time, time, time, time, time. SWAT trains to hit a location as simultaneously as possible,

Because people in terrifying situations they have no experience in just don't think. People die in crash landing

fires because they can't process the thought that they have to take off the seatbelt to escape, what chance have

they got of creating and enacting such a complex line of reasoning? Half of military training is purely so that in

stressful situations you can still think clearly.

A video game theme: the game world is tangibly damaged during the game.

Alternate titles: Harming The World, Earth Dies Screaming (marvellous - but too grandiose?)


Real-Time Strategy

  • The goal of Earth2150 is to collect enough resources to get off the planet in time. As time passes, terrain changes from wintertime to spring, summer, desert and then Venus.

[[AC:Role Playing Games

Turn-Based Strategy