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I've noticed there's been an issue with Creator's Pet for some time as a lot of people seem to get the impression it's either "The Scrappy but worse" or "The Scrappy but with a big role". Even with what appear to be some pretty clear criteria, I've seen attempts to add entries on other works pages that are missing one or more of the criteria. Going through the page itself, there seems to be a lot of examples that are missing the criteria as well.
While my first thought is to conduct a cleanup and only keep that which is clearly hitting all four rules, or do that AND a tighter pass at the trope definition so less people are confused. I think there may still be some holdovers from when the trope was still The Wesley that are making things a little muddier for newer tropers.
aaaaand I'm sorry, I totally had a brainfart and screwed up the post title >_<
I don't think that it is an issue of muddy definitions and more one of a personal agenda. The criteria are pretty strict already, we just need to actually enforce them. But when people hold a grudge against a certain character, and with a Creator's Pet, this is always the case, they like to express that on the page. So this is more a problem of Square Peg, Round Trope. People want to add to the page, regardless of the definition.
edited 6th Jul '12 1:38:54 AM by eX
Well, a general cleanup would be a good idea.
Anything else that can be done? Due to the trope's nature (and above explanation), I don't think changing the definition or name would help.
^ One of the defining points of Creator's Pet is that the character is a scrappy. e X didn't say anything about whether the grudge was reasonable or not.
I think we have too many scrappy tropes. why do we have this one?
Because excessive author favoritism is often both cause and consequence of scrappydom.
Because people like to complain.
I think what we need here is an organized clean-up effort. I don't know what else we can do to make the trope clearer - people are already not reading the description and I don't think a rename will help.
As Nohbody said, that the character has a negative reputation is one of the requirements for the trope, so yes, really now. And what I am saying is that this leads to people trying to force this on a character, to make them "objectively bad". It's the same phenomenon we have with badass or other overused positive tropes.
I think the biggest problem is the second point. Unless we actually have Word of God that a character is favored by a writer, this is going to be controversial, since a lot of people will simply assume that it is the case, just because a hated character gets screen time at all.
edited 13th Jul '12 12:29:30 PM by eX
In the case of the second criteria, I see a lot of people claim that a character is "favored" simply because the writing staff isn't sharing the same overbearing hatred for a character certain parts of the fandom does. I mean, if it's a main character with The Scrappy status, it's silly to expect the writers to evict the character, storyline problems be damned.
Well, we could just do a dedicated cleanup and lock the subpages as la Complete Monster.
I'm definitely willing to participate in a clean up as my schedule permits. As I said, due to the topic's level of controversy, I didn't want to start one on my own lest I cause other problems.
I drove the initial rename of this trope from The Wesley and in the process I worked on defining the specific criteria for it. If people are continuing to misuse the trope for any character they don't like, then it definitely needs a cleanup again.
Edit: Rebochan, I just saw the little scuffle between you and QueenofSwords over CreatorsPet.Live Action TV. That example did have a comment saying to leave it alone. Please don't pull stuff like that.
edited 13th Jul '12 8:23:00 AM by Fighteer
What is particularly annoying about Creator's Pet is the potholing. It works like a Zero Context Example, thus it waters down the trope.
I almost wish there was some way to set a page's tech so that it breaks any potholes leading to it.
I apologize, but I don't know where that note came from or why. As I mentioned on Ask The Tropers, the entry in question seems to be missing 3 out of 4 criteria, so I'm not sure why there's a "don't edit this" note.
I think a Complete Monster style cleanup might be a good idea, but the fact that one of the criteria is basically impossible to measure would make very difficult to implement.
Well, here's our current criteria list, as quoted from the page:
Unless it meets all of these criteria, then it doesn't fit.
It seems like this is a YMMV trope, but having four hardlined criteria to qualify makes it a stricter trope.
Well, there doesn't seem to be a lot of movement, though everyone seems to agree the page needs work. I can start trying to set up sandbox pages if needed, but I already expressed concern about unsigned notes for examples that do not fit the criteria.
How are we supposed to know the "Loved (or worshipped) by the writers" without knowledge from the writers themselves?
Some writers are more open than others. Wesley, the former Trope Namer, was pretty obviously Gene Roddenberry's stand-in due to not just his name, but comments from the creative staff.
I don't think it'd be a bad thing to restrict this to instances where you have a Word of God. It really can't be a Creator's Pet if the creators don't love the character.
Although instances where the character is named for or modeled on the creator or someone dear to the creator is probably a good enough indication.
I don't know if we should require explicit word of god. If the writer all-of-a-sudden starts sticking a new character into every other scene, and having the entire plot revolve around them, do we need any more confirmation than that?
^ That right there is relatively objective; the character analogue of a Plot Tumor. Which may or may not be what Character Focus already handles.
edited 16th Jul '12 8:19:00 AM by Stratadrake
It tends to be fairly obvious when a minor character suddenly gets vastly more screen time and Character Shilling then they notionally deserve. However, that alone does not qualify them for this trope. It is also necessary that the character be The Scrappy, which means that a large portion of the fanbase feel that they are a detriment to the work.
The debate on this trope seems to have focused a bit on the whole "beloved by the creator" thing, but we need to remember that Tropes Are Not Bad, and just because a character is the author's favorite doesn't mean it's a bad character.
After all, good old Wesley Crusher wouldn't have been the original Trope Namer if Gene Roddenberry's favoritism towards him hadn't been detrimental to the show.
edited 16th Jul '12 8:28:28 AM by Fighteer
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