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VVK
May 13th 2012 at 10:16:25 AM

I have been unable to find any difference between Continuity Nod ("A reference to a previous installment in one work's continuity.") and Call-Back ("A Shout-Out to previous episodes in a series.") The only difference is proposed under Continuity Nod: "Distinct from a Call-Back, as it does not actually drive any plot development." But it doesn't say anything about driving plot development under Call-Back, and even the Continuity Nod description says earlier that "[t]he nod is not necessarily a major plot point, but more of a tilt of the hat to the fans that may know these little details." (emphasis added), and later, "A nod that affects the plot in some way can be considered a Chekhov's Boomerang."

One possibility would be to change Call Back so that it does have to involve plot development and the Nod so that it can't. But there seems to be no point to this distinction, and it might confuse people who have already been using either trope as it was now. (I've seen both used side by side, but when I asked people on that discussion page what the difference was, they couldn't tell me.) As far as I can see, this is a clear case needing merging of the two.

edited 13th May '12 10:26:02 AM by VVK

32_Footsteps Think of the mooks! from Just north of Arkham Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Think of the mooks!
May 13th 2012 at 11:27:27 AM

I've been wondering this for a good, long while. I typically just use Continuity Nod because I like the term better, but it's entirely unclear.

The way it's written, it looks like Call-Back is to something earlier within the same continuity (for example, referencing something from episode 3 in episode 95), while Continuity Nod is to something from an alternate continuity (like referencing something from the comic in the movie adaptation). But even that is counter to the "compare" note, where it seems to suggest that the difference is whether the reference affects the plot at all.

I'm inclined to either merge the two (and have one name be a redirect, of course) or to define them based on whether the reference is from the same continuity or another.

Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
VVK
May 13th 2012 at 11:36:11 AM

Referencing a different continuity is already covered; it's Mythology Gag.

edited 13th May '12 11:36:20 AM by VVK

32_Footsteps Think of the mooks! from Just north of Arkham Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Think of the mooks!
May 13th 2012 at 11:53:01 AM

Ah, right, forgot about that. I vote for a merge, then.

Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
May 13th 2012 at 12:43:27 PM

Is there any particular reason why Continuity Nod was chosen as the one to be branded the duplicate? At a glance, it would appear that Continuity Nod is much more widely used than Call-Back.

VVK
May 13th 2012 at 12:49:21 PM

No particular reason, I didn't notice that.

edited 13th May '12 12:49:29 PM by VVK

troacctid "." from California
May 13th 2012 at 7:37:53 PM

They do seem to be duplicates, yes.

Rhymes with "Protracted."
May 13th 2012 at 9:35:15 PM

Is there a meaningful distinction between these two and Brick Joke?

Feather7603 Devil's Advocate from Yggdrasil
May 13th 2012 at 9:55:06 PM

Well, a Brick Joke is explicitly set up as a joke, where the returning bit is the punchline.

A Continuity Nod or Call-Back is about returning to a previously established fact that did play itself out the first time, but has consequences that makes it effective one way or another at the later time.

They are very similar, but I still think there's a difference.

The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
VVK
May 14th 2012 at 1:12:35 AM

I'm not sure Brick Joke explicitly set up as a joke when it first appears. Sounds like it could just look meaningless then. But the difference is that it's left hanging and doesn't play out until later, yes, whereas a Continuity Nod is to something that was already "complete" the first time.

Of course, the thing nodded at gains a new significance then and so wasn't complete in its full later sense earlier, but I think if we don't think about it too hard, the distinction can be used perfectly well, even if it couldn't be upheld in a strict philosophical debate. So basically, ignore this second paragraph.

edited 14th May '12 5:19:37 AM by VVK

May 14th 2012 at 7:44:06 AM

A Continuity Nod or Call-Back is about returning to a previously established fact that did play itself out the first time, but has consequences that makes it effective one way or another at the later time.

It wouldn't so much be about a return to anything previously established as it would much more typically entail a passing reference to prior events. In fairness a full out return to prior events could be called a reference, but that would be a very specific way of making a reference. And the reference does not need to actually have an effect on the later plot it appears in for it to qualify as such a reference.

edited 14th May '12 7:45:48 AM by SeanMurrayI

lu127 Paper Master from 異界 Relationship Status: Crazy Cat Lady
Feather7603 Devil's Advocate from Yggdrasil
May 14th 2012 at 1:03:03 PM

Well, to put it this way, the important part of a Brick Joke is what happens the second time. The important part of a Continuity Nod or Call-Back is when it happens the first time (though being important the second time is not excluded, but it still tends to be more important the first time around).

The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
May 14th 2012 at 1:20:11 PM

[up]No, it doesn't have to be important at all. Or, to put it another way, a Continuity Nod does not need to carry a narrative function in the story it appears in.

For instance, The Riddler and Two Face outfits that are visible in an "evidence room" in Batman & Robin are a nod to the antagonists defeated in the previous Batman movie, Batman Forever. The costumes do not come into play in the story itself, and they do nothing to advance any part of Batman & Robin's plot. Their appearance has no significance beyond being a passing reference to a prior story.

edited 14th May '12 1:32:16 PM by SeanMurrayI

May 14th 2012 at 2:46:57 PM

I voted to merge. But I think I see a difference in the page's motivations.

A Continuity Nod seems to be a subtle acknowledgement that continuity exists. So if The Simpsons has some funny item in the attic that hearkens back to an episode from 10 years ago, or if episodic adventure game 4 has s trophy from game 3, that's a continuity nod. The idea here is that, absent the nod, there's little expectation of continuity at all. A call back, on the other hand, seems to be a reference to a past event where there's no surprise that the event's still there in the history, but it makes for an interesting easter egg or in-joke.

So, no meaningful difference then.

Stratadrake Dragon Writer
Dragon Writer
May 14th 2012 at 8:54:00 PM

Did somebody mention Brick Joke? IMO, the defining characteristic of a Brick Joke is its Shaggy Dog setup - like the difference between foreground Foreshadowing and a background Chekhov's Gun.

On that note, Brick Joke has some misuse of its own accord, but I don't have quantized data on that.

An Ear Worm is like a Rickroll: It is never going to give you up.
Feather7603 Devil's Advocate from Yggdrasil
May 14th 2012 at 11:59:40 PM

[up][up][up]I'd say those outfits were pretty important in Batman Forever.

edited 15th May '12 12:00:25 AM by Feather7603

The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
fakeangelbr The Awesomest Character from Fortaleza, Brazil
The Awesomest Character
May 15th 2012 at 6:43:15 AM

Just putting my two cents here:

A Continuity Nod is supposed to be something as simple a remembering or putting attention to a fact that happened earlier, like "remember when you blew up the sun in season 2?". It does not necessarily needs to be done except to reinforce the sense of continuity or bring quickly a fact up to speed to be used soon. Again, this does nothing more than simply reminds the audience that something happened and the characters are aware of.

A Call-Back, on the other hand, is more of a little joke made between similar contexts happenning in the same story, like how every time that the situation goes out of Twilight's control, her grasp on reality drops and her mane becomes messy.

Again, there is some difference between the two of them, but I'm not sure it's enough to keep them separate.

edited 15th May '12 6:53:14 AM by fakeangelbr

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May 15th 2012 at 7:16:57 AM

[up][up]The characters were important to Batman Forever's story. The outfits that those characters wore in the movie? Those didn't directly affect anything in the story, as far as I can recall, so those would be a much more superfluous detail.

What's important to a Continuity Nod / Call-Back is that what is being referenced appeared earlier in a work's/series's/franchise's established canon, period. It does not matter whether whatever is being referenced was "important" the first time around; it just has to be something, anything from a previous episode/installment/whatever popping up again. On the whole, "being important before being referenced in a later story" is an unnecessary and bogus qualifier which we can easily disregard (if only so that this doesn't have to get a needless YMMV tag while everyone debates over whether every individual example is truly referencing something "important").

[down]I was responding to Mr. Feather, two posts above mine. Although after reading your elaboration on "the Twilight example", what exactly differentiates a Call-Back from just a typical quirk or trait in a character's personality that just happens to play out whenever the character lands in the same kind of situation? What you're saying seems akin to saying that Marty McFly's "nobody calls me chicken" spiels in the Back to the Future sequels are all Call Backs after the first occurrence, rather than just repeated displays of a single character trait.

edited 15th May '12 7:52:53 AM by SeanMurrayI

fakeangelbr The Awesomest Character from Fortaleza, Brazil
The Awesomest Character
May 15th 2012 at 7:32:55 AM

I didn't say it was important, I said that it just serves to remind the audience that there is continuity.

Really, it could even be something as innocuous as one character saying that he is eating bad and wished to take cooking classes to get a little healthier and in another episode show him in a cooking c[up]lass. Again, it does little more to remind that there is continuity, but it's do not qualify a call back.

Back to the Twilight example, there was at least three times that she became unhinged because things were spinning out of her control, but no one ever mention that this happens in-universe, it's just a bonus to the fans that having been paying a minimun of attention in the show. In this case, it's a call back, but not a continuity nod.

You see what I mean now?

[up]Ah, okay. But still, my opnion on this matter is, while there could definetely be overlap, and a lot of the time, it has, the definition of those are still different enough for them to be separate. However there may be not enough separation for them to be different tropes.

After more personal introspection, I think that keep and clean should be enough. Voting nay.

[up], again: There were other examples of things not going as smoothly as she wanted and she still being sane. For example, in Feeling Pinkie Keen, she is unable to make any kind of progress on how the Pinkie Sense works, but the most she goes is Burning with Anger. Constrasting with Lesson Zero, where nothing is at stake except she trying to learn a lesson to send to the princess and she goes batshit insane, with her speaking to her own reflection, her apperance being umkept being a compliement and brainwashing little fillies to force them to learn a lesson.

Is different from Mc Fly that this is a trait that is very reocurring, while Twilight's happenned first when we were reaching the conclusion of one episode, got two lines of-clealy-not-sane-with-a-little-amount-of-hair-out-of-place!TS, and then got quietly ignored for the rest of the first season until it got brought up again in the second one. That's why I categorize this as call back, it's was not initially estabilished as character trait, rather than the events being more akin to the straw the broke the camel's back or rather, the disaster that made someone gaze into the abyss.

Jeez, this post is huge now.

edited 15th May '12 8:20:57 AM by fakeangelbr

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VVK
May 15th 2012 at 10:15:09 AM

fakeangelbr, are you trying to say a Continuity Nod involves something being mentioned in-universe? That's the only interpretation I can come up with for what you're saying that would mean there's actually a difference. But if your meaning is that, I can find no backing for it in the articles. Can you show anything in either article that shows it's not the same as the other aside from the "Distinct from a Call-Back..." sentence I already discussed above?

edited 15th May '12 10:22:21 AM by VVK

fakeangelbr The Awesomest Character from Fortaleza, Brazil
The Awesomest Character
May 15th 2012 at 11:02:42 AM

At this point, I don't know anymore.

The definition of the article really put everything in a wrench:

"Distinct from a Call Back, as it does not actually drive any plot development"

Ok let's put this way:

A scene has in it's background several weapons collected as trophies from the heroe's foes. That's a continuity nod.

The hero defeats an enemy with a similar tactic that he used to defeat another past enemy (I'm not considering stock phootage for the purpose of this analogy). That's a call back.

Someone close to the hero is watching him duel and comments that he is fighting very similarly to what happened on another occasion (again, I'm not considering stock phootage for the purposes of the analogy). That's both.

edited 15th May '12 11:58:27 AM by fakeangelbr

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VVK
May 15th 2012 at 12:26:28 PM

I pointed out in the first post that Continuity Nod being "Distinct from a Call Back, as it does not actually drive any plot development" is contradicted by other sentences in the Continuity Nod article that imply that it can affect the plot, and the idea that Call-Back has to affect plot development is not supported by the article for Call-Back. Your idea seems to be slightly different from simply "affects plot development or not," but, interesting as it is, absent any further proof that it's what the tropes are intended to mean, I'm going to go on maintaining that there is no difference.

And if you are right, I'd have to say it is too small and vague to be a usable difference. I mean, I've reviewed the articles and your explanations multiple times and I'm still not quite sure what it is, so it's certainly not clear enough for more casual consumption. But, to recap, I don't think the distinction does exist in the trope definitions the first place.

(Has anyone else sometimes got the feeling that trope descriptions should contain more strict definitions right there on the first line?)

edited 15th May '12 12:35:37 PM by VVK

fakeangelbr The Awesomest Character from Fortaleza, Brazil
The Awesomest Character
May 15th 2012 at 12:42:43 PM

I'm just repeating what the articles are saying.

Again, there is a lot of overlap between those two, even if we hypothetically agree that those two are different enough for the merge to be unnecessary.

Just to reiterate myself, yes, a continuity nod can not be a call back and vice-versa, but the amount you have that are both simutaneously easily outnumber pure call back and nods combined.

edited 15th May '12 1:11:24 PM by fakeangelbr

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Feather7603 Devil's Advocate from Yggdrasil
May 15th 2012 at 4:55:55 PM

@19: Still off from what I meant, but it doesn't really matter, since we both agree it's distinct.

The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.

Alternative Titles: Call Back Continuity Nod
17th May '12 3:10:36 AM
Vote up names you like, vote down names you don't. Whether or not the title will actually be changed is determined with a different kind of crowner (the Single Proposition crowner). This one just collects and ranks alternative titles.
At issue:
Previous crowner showed consensus for merging the pages.

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