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YMMV / Dateline

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  • Broken Base: Although these tropes likely existed as early as the whole "exploding GM cars" thing, they didn't really kick off until the whole "To Catch a Predator" bit got started. Proponents of the segment either feel that the predators deserved the humiliation, that the segment was necessary to scare pedophiles from soliciting sex from children, or both. Those who disapprove believe that the predators' crimes didn't justify Dateline humiliating them, that the segment enabled the pedophiles to get away with it (several cases were thrown out due to insufficient evidence because Dateline did the investigating, not the policenote ), or both.
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  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The segment and Chris Hansen are this to Dateline as a whole.
  • Fridge Horror: Beautifully explained by Charlie Brooker:
    And that "attractive young actress" who greets them by the door: make no mistake, she's hot. And at 18, she's US legal. Presumably someone at To Catch a Predator HQ sat down with a bunch of audition tapes and spooled through it, trying to find a sexy 18-year-old who could pass for 13. They'll have stared at girl after girl, umming and ahhing over their chest sizes, until they found just the right one. And like I say, she's hot. But if you fancy her, you're a paedophile.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Alright, this show has been running in some form for at least 20 years. TCAP lasted as a few standalone segments for four years. Hansen's career has covered a wide range of topics and crime reports, but he's mostly only known for the TCAP stings.
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  • Memetic Badass: No sex offender is safe from Chris Hansen. Ever.
  • Memetic Molester: Inverted. Chris Hansen is a memetic molester locator.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Why don't you have a seat right over there?"
    • Brian Gosselin's incredibly creepy delivery of "Yeah..."
    • One notable pedo along with his very funny voice: "It's a question!"
    • Anything to do with the mythical "John Pedersen". Along with the numerous other elements of the related particular predator's bizarre but amusing non-sequitur dialoge ("...My problem was I was walking.")
    • Almost everything predator Anthony Palumbo said has become a meme. See him here
    • The iconic PNG of Chris staring right into your soul.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • "To Catch A Predator" definitely makes people think twice about soliciting sex online.
    • New Media Are Evil — letting their kids use online chatrooms.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Creep Catchers in Canada although they are much more confrontational than Chris Hansen, often to the point of crossing legal lines. Apparently, some of them actually do have criminal records themselves, having been arrested for direct assault on some of the creeps that they encounter.
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  • Spoiled by the Format: If you see a prime suspect to a murder being interviewed by one of the Dateline correspondents (especially if they're dressed in casual clothes, and speaking from the comfort of their own home), then you don't get any points for predicting that they won't be convicted.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: This is constantly discussed in TCAP, as you will see the predators in a sympathetic light. They may be very genuine. However, Chris Hansen, or the narrator, will remind themselves AND the audience that these are the same men who were soliciting sex from a minor who clearly had perverted intentions in mind (and that is at best; some had much worse intentions).
    Charlie Brooker: "When a TV show makes you feel sorry for potential child rapists, you know it's doing something wrong."


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