"But then, my stupidity is probably legendary at this point..."
Like many other contributors here, I fancy myself a writer. In fact, for me the biggest appeal of this site is the familiarity of so many tropes — not because I've seen them, but because I've used them myself (see below).
Ever since my first appearance here in late June 2007 I have spent much time poking around, familiarizing myself, sticking my two cents into discussion threads where it's not wanted, and occasionally launching actual tropes — although these days I'm mostly content to add Works/Creators pages and an ocassional Recap.
The background I bring to my contributions is that of a Speculative Fiction geek (Science Fiction or Sci-Fi for those less "hardcore", like me), big 70s/80s music lover, B-Movie nut and classic television fan. Newer TV/music, not so much, but still there. Oh, and a huge fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Generally a Splitter, but I've drifted toward Lumper during my time here; something of a Grammar Nazi, and very much a Serial Tweaker. A firm believer in Bizarre and Improbable Giraffe-Herding Techniques and the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment; and I do tend to be somewhat snarky and cynical most of the time. I do it for the bragging rights and a sense of personal satisfaction.
I launched the following tropes:
- All or Nothing
- mad props to the Tropers for great examples
- Aspect Ratio
- Ass-Kicking Pose
- Blade Lock
- name by Arivne
- Bonus Space
- Cataclysm Climax
- Confession Cam
- Consolation Prize
- Contrived Coincidence
- with much much MUCH help from the Tropers!
- name derived from a suggestion by an Unknown Troper
- Conveyor Belt Video
- name by Sci Vo
- Dress Rehearsal Video
- name by (again) Sci Vo
- Fee Fi Faux Pas
- Follow the Leader
- name by Heart Burn Kid
- Game Show Host
- name may seem obvious, but nonetheless was suggested by Idledandy
- Great Balls of Fire
- idea sparked from a comment by Matthew The Raven
- Hair Metal
- Hall of Mirrors
- the science bit was submitted by Andrusi
- Hint Dropping
- name by Lord TNK
- Hitchhiker Heroes
- name by Op Megs
- Hollywood Web Cam
- with thanx to the Tropers who helped me keep my facts straight.
- Identity Impersonator
- name by Ununnilium
- I Meant to Do That
- Kid Com
- Koosh Bomb
- Law Enforcement, Inc.
- Memento MacGuffin
- after much re-writing; name, lots of key wording and all initial examples provided by Fanti Sci, to the point that I believe she should take credit for the entry
- Monster Misogyny
- name derived from a suggestion by Dark Sasami
- Multi-Take Cut
- My Nayme Is
- Nails on a Blackboard
- Narrative Non Sequitur
- No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom
- Other Common Music Video Concepts
- with helpful advice from Sci Vo
- Pitch Mob
- name by Attilargh
- Playing Against Type
- name by Alexandra Erin
- Plug 'n' Play Technology
- Credit Where It's Due: The body text was excellently rewritten by Stratadrake, and now flows much more smoothly than my original contribution while still conveying the trope exactly as I had proposed.
- Porky Pig Pronunciation
- name by twelfth
- Progressive Rock
- Rhymes on a Dime
- name by Zinfandel
- Right in Front of Me
- name by Tangent128
- Right on Queue
- Scapegoat Ad
- Screw the Electric Bill!
- name by adam850
- Scylla and Charybdis
- The very first trope I ever wrote for this wiki... and boy, does it show!
- Shrug Take
- Sitcom Character Archetypes
- Special thanx to maxmordon, who provided the comparison to Commedia Dell'arte
- Sliding Scale Of Videogame Objectives
- Space Amish
- name by Ununnilium
- Stop, or I Will Shoot!
- Stunt Casting
- Sword Drag
- Sword Limbo
- idea by Silent Hunter
- name by an Unknown Troper
- Train Escape
- Truth Serums
- idea (and much of the wording) by an Unknown Troper
- The Vanna
- Which has since been expanded and evolved into The Lovely Assistant.
- Villain Corner
- Again, thanks to the Tropers for helping me get my act together with some great examples!
- Vocal Tag Team
- Walk-In Chime-In
- name derived from a suggestion by an Unknown Troper
- Warring Without Weapons
- name derived from a suggestion by Andrew Leprich
- Who Will Take the Kids?
- You Just Told Me
I also fired off the following Works/Creators pages:
- American Top 40
- Ark II
- John Barry
- Batman: Digital Justice
- Beethoven's Last Night
- The Blob (all three versions originally in one package)
- DC Heroes
- Danny Elfman
- Hardware Wars
- The Hindenburg (1975 Disaster Movie)
- King Kong (all variants, again formerly one page)
- The Legend of Billie Jean
- The Mask of Zorro
- Excluding the summary for The Legend Of Zorro, which was provided by dotchan
- Michael Kamen
- Robin Hood Daffy
- Rocky Jones, Space Ranger
- Ryan Vs Dorkman
- Scrabble (The Game Show)
- Shazam! (The Filmation Live-Action adaptation)
- The Shape Of Things To Come (Once again, all three versions)
- Space Academy
- Star Trek: Elite Force
- Star Wars: Revelations
- V (1983)
- Weird Science (The Movie)
- Win Ben Stein's Money
- Zero Hour!! (1957 Disaster Movie)
Created bare-bones starter kits for:
Fleshed out the descriptions for:
- The Callista Trilogy (added the summary for Darksaber)
- Game Show (added the index of tropes, which has since expanded and become its own page)
- Is This Love?
- Jack the Ripoff (launched by Dragon Quest Z)
- Untamed Youth (originally cut for chronic terminal stub-ness)
- Villain by Default (added the sub-section demonization)
- Weird Science (The Series; launched by Satanic Hamster)
Provided pages for these MST3K films:
- Attack of the Giant Leeches
- Attack of the Eye Creatures
- The Beatniks
- Beginning of the End
- The Brain That Wouldn't Die
- The Crawling Hand
- Danger: Diabolik
- Fire Maidens from Outer Space (and its recap)
- First Spaceship on Venus
- Gamera Vs. Guiron
- The Green Slime
- Hercules (1958)
- The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-Up Zombies
- Johnny At The Fair
- Jungle Goddess
- The Killer Shrews
- Lost Continent
- The Magic Voyage Of Sinbad
- The Rebel Set
- Ring of Terror
- Secret Agent Super Dragon
- The Sidehackers
- The Starfighters
- Swamp Diamonds
- The Time Travelers
- Warrior of the Lost World
- X Marks The Spot
Submitted these Recaps:
- For Rocky Jones, Space Ranger:
- For Star Trek: The Original Series:
- For Star Trek: The Next Generation:
- For Knight Rider:
- For The Adventures of Superman:
Just for Fun: Tropes I Use:As stated, I am an amateur writer, having co-written a collection of not-entirely-serious adventure stories centered around a team of super-powered/high-tech government agents. The no-doubt innumerable tropes which we have employed in these stories include (but are likely not limited to):
- Action Girls: The guys don't get to have all the fun.
- Alternate Universe: Forms the basis for one story, Sliders-style. note
- As You Know: In the very first story, one character reminisces in such a way to allow him to Info Dump a good pile of back story.
- Author Avatar: The two lead characters are 100% shameless in this respect.
- Battle Butler: a recent add-in.
- Battle Couple: Most of the team is split off into married couples.
- Better Than a Bare Bulb: With several stories under our belts and sporting a good firm grasp on Action/Adventure Tropes, Lampshade Hanging has become a common tool.
- Big Eater: Ivan has proven capable of eating an entire doughnut shop out of business in one sitting. Much to the consternation of the local police force.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: One guy is drugged by a terrorist group and forced to do their bidding; he eventually pulls a Heel–Face Turn when he meets his twin on the team (see Separated at Birth, below).
- It's happened to other team members at various points as well.
- Also, in the back story, a race of aliens uses electronic hypnosis to kidnap humans and use them in an interstellar war; these humans form the core of the cast.
- Casting a Shadow: One of our Big Bads.
- Cool Car: Four of them, to be exact. Three Lamborghinis, one DeLorean. These provide examples of:
- Flying Car / Flying Brick: The cars are Nigh Invulnerable due to Applied Phlebotinum.
- Hubcap Hovercraft
- Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: In one particular case, a computer came to "life" by being left out in the cold. We've tried to go back and Hand Wave this, but it's still pretty improbable.
- Talking Appliance Sidekick
- Cool Plane: Redhawk. It's as long as a football field, has a cargo bay big enough for all the Cool Cars, and can even go underwater or into outer space.
- Cool Starship: Eventually, the team acquires (read: steals) a spaceship from an alien colony and brings it back to Earth. The aforementioned Redhawk and Flying Cars would also qualify.
- Creator Provincialism: Reversed; although we've written one story that takes place in our own hometown, most of them are set in places we've never been and likely will never visit. Thank goodness for Google Earth!
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass / Let's Get Dangerous!: Our characters are generally silly; but when shake comes to shimmy, they're highly — maybe even ridiculously — competent.
- Cute Bruiser: One member is nominally the Team Mom; but she was a wrestler in high school and occasionally gets to cut loose.
- Discussed Trope:
"Oh please! Like that plot wasn't done to death on The A-Team or Knight Rider! We're starting to sound like some cheezy 80s action-TV show!"
"This is not a television show. This is, for us at least, reality."
- Donut Mess with a Cop: Well, they're not cops per se, but the group did operate a small pastry shop early on. See also Big Eater, above.
- Enemy Mime: And yes, it's just an Incredibly Lame Pun on a land mine. By this point, what more could you expect?
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Our very first story — written some 20 years ago in high school — featured a Take That!-ish Lawyer-Friendly Cameo by Corey Feldman, and we even managed to throw Corey Haim in there as well ("We always do everything together," Haim said good-naturedly). Haim's death in 2010 really put the kibosh on that joke.
- Genre Savvy: Used as a Zig-Zagging Trope, depending upon the needs of the story or the joke at hand.
- Hint Dropping: Subverted: "It was one of those subtle little hints women always give men that they miss like Lucy in the outfield. However, he had been trained by his wife to catch all such hints. He had the bruises to prove it."
- Historical In-Joke: See Noodle Incident, below.
- Hive Mind: Not literally, but the so-called "Wife Patrol" is played like this.
- Human Aliens: A couple of our characters are this, so that they can walk amongst humans.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Human Aliens with reptilian eyes, or Human Aliens with four arms, to name just two.
- Humanoid Aliens: These appear mostly in back story; but there is one race that looks like a harsh amalgam of Sylvester and Tweety. What's funnier: they consider themselves to be the epitome of evolutionary perfection.
- Hypocritical Humor: See Our Lawyers Advised This Trope, below. Also, the above-mentioned "epitome of evolutionary perfection".
- Intangible Man
- Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: With lots of Lampshade Hanging, natch.
"Halt! Who are you and what are you doing here?"
"We're the cleaning crew."
"Cleaning crew? I haven't seen the lot of you before."
"What about the kid?"
"What about him? He's my son."
"I mean, what's he doing here? Most people don't bring their kids to work with them."
"He always comes to work with me. Also, most people don't bring their children with them when breaking into super-secret military installations, do they?"
"Uh-huh. So where are your IDs?"
- Journey to the Center of the Mind / Orphean Rescue
- Lady Land: complete with Straw Feminist ruling class. To be completely fair, the Lady Land was formed in direct response to a rival's No Woman's Land.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Early stories were notorious for always including at least one celebrity, his/her identity merely hinted at, and usually encountered in a not-so-flattering situation. The most blatant of these was a villain named for a certain former First Lady (I won't name names), or a group of villains who were thinly-veiled caricatures of our high school faculty.
- Light 'em Up: One character has total control over light and all forms of radiation. She can absorb energy as well as shoot Hand Beams, Eye Beams or even... well, let's just say she can shoot beams from any body part. "Have a dose of my high beams!"
"Milk; it does a body good."
- Little Mr. Badass: The 13-year-old with the miniature rocket launcher. Whose idea was that again???
- Loads and Loads of Characters: My co-author really really loves large teams. To that end:
- Malaproper: One of the AIs needs its English grammar overhauled.
- The Russian character is kind of like this as well, but he's Eloquent In His Native Tongue.
- Mood Whiplash: Due to the mix of comedy and action, this is sometimes unavoidable. Lampshaded at least once ("How could such a goofy moment have led directly into a life-or-death situation like this?").
- Moral Guardians: In-universe, via the "Wife Patrol".
- Most Common Superpower: Yes, yes we did. In writing.
- Next Sunday A.D.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: We've described the basic premise as "James Bond meets Star Wars meets Seinfeld meets Knight Rider meets My Favorite Martian meets Eight Is Enough meets Animaniacs!"
- Nakama: None of them are actually related except by marriage (and a couple of offspring, and one set of twins), but they consider their group a big family unit, and behave accordingly.
- Noodle Incident: "Did we help when Stan sank the ferry in the bay? Did we help when Stan was arrested for voyeurism? Did we help when Stan was indicted in the Iran-Contra scandal?"
- Omnicidal Maniac: If James Bond has taught us nothing else, he showed that these guys make for great supervillains.
- Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: The climax of a big Fight Scene is interrupted for a lengthy interjection railing against violence in the media, concluding with:
Violent entertainment. It is wrong. It is bad. We do not condone nor promote it. We now return to the bloody violence already in progress.
- We've parodied this trope in other ways as well. For instance: "We'd like to take a moment to point out that these people are MORONS! Their logic is quite FLAWED! Please, please, don't ever stalk someone, brainwash her, lead her to her death, and call it love! We now return you to the same mindless crap you've been reading for the past 300 pages or so."
- Powered Armor
- Quip to Black: parodied:
- Rule of Funny: A car chase runs through a drive-thru at 90 miles per hour. There's also the Lawyer-Friendly Cameo mentioned above.
- Running Gags a'plenty:
- No Fourth Wall / Medium Awareness: The main characters are aware that they are living in a fictional medium and often argue with the narrator/writers, or hijack the story. Handwaved by the characters calling it "a delusion we all live under".
- There's the bit about always making a sandwich every time someone goes into the kitchen.
- Each story usually has its own unique Running Gag; in fact, the two gags listed above started out this way before being expanded to encompass the whole series.
- Samus Is a Girl: One wife dons her husband's Powered Armor to come save the day. When her gender is revealed, cue the predictable juvenile humor:
"Aren't your boobs squished in that thing?"
"YES! Yes they ARE!"
- Separated at Birth: One of the twins (see Brainwashed and Crazy, above) was adopted and raised in Russia.
- Share the Male Pain: "Wheel Of Foreskin"
"Did I say something wrong?"
- Sinister Geometry: Reversed; the "good guy" aliens in the back story flew starships of simple geometric shape and the "bad guy" aliens flew starships that look like enormous daggers stabbing an orange slice.
- But also played straight, as the "good guys"' starfighters were styled somewhat like avians and the bad guys' fighters look like cigars.
- Stuff Blowing Up: "Everywhere these people go, something big blows up."
- Super Strength: Due to bio-cybernetic enhancement.
- The Swashbuckler
- Talking Is a Free Action: Yes, we've actually used this one straight, despite my every effort to the contrary.
- Technical Pacifist: Our team. We don't like to depict killing. But sometimes it happens.
- Technopath: Via computer chips embedded in the brain, thus allowing for telepathic communication with and control of electronic devices.
- Tomato in the Mirror: One character eventually discovers he's not who he thought he was...
- Translation Convention: Just about any time a group is speaking a foreign language; it usually crops up with Russian, since one of our main characters is Russian.
- Tsundere: Pam likes to throw cherry soda at her husband. And there's the whole "girl wrestler" thing mentioned above.
- Tuckerization: Quite a few of the main characters are named (indirectly) for schoolmates. See also Lawyer-Friendly Cameo.
- Wave Motion Gun / Kill Sat: In the back story, an alien race tried to wipe out Earth with one of these.
- Weirdness Censor: The government team depicted in this series...
- are, in their secret identities, among the richest socialites in California;
- live on an island in the middle of San Francisco Bay;
- drive highly unique Flying Cars in their secret identities;
- drive those EXACT SAME Flying Cars in their guise as government agents;
- frequently get into violent skirmishes on their island home, in the middle of San Francisco Bay.
- All this, with the local citizenry being none the wiser. Handwaved in one story as the city-dwelling locals being too consumed with their own day-to-day lives to notice.
- Who Writes This Crap?!?
"Why do the writers think we're sappy wimps and always give us these cry-baby scenes?"
"I don't know. Maybe they're making up for something. You can tell these guys have never been married."
- There's also:
"Your son's conspiracy theory is becoming more plausible by the moment."
"Or the writers are taking narcotics."
The writers threatened to erase his character out of existence if he didn't shape up.
- There's also:
- Wig, Dress, Accent: The team doesn't do a whole lot of this sort of undecover operation, but they still manage to pull it off on occasion.
- Women Are Wiser: Zig-zagged; the women on the team have more common sense in one finger than all the men combined, but they are given plenty of "goofy" moments on their own (usually when isolated from the guys).
- World of Snark: Really, no one escapes unscathed. Not even the writers (although we give as good as we get).
- You and What Army? "Oh, that army, heh heh. Eep."
...And yes, I really do go by the name "Scooter".
Comare/contrast Mark Scooter.