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The Scrappy Cleanup

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Mar 22nd 2013 at 9:01:50 AM

[up]I see. So if the hate for him is hated in a manner of "Wow, that character is really a well done unlikeable character who adds to the story" instead of "Wow, this unlikeable character is ruining the story" then you wouldn't really consider him a Scrappy, right?

edited 23rd Mar '13 3:58:44 PM by KSonik

Mar 22nd 2013 at 10:16:25 AM

^ Exactly. Like a Butt-Monkey is usually annoying or whatever, but that is why you like seeing bad things happen to him, and villians are supposed to be hated because they are villians. However, the discription on The Scrappy points out that "Occasionally, a character intended as a Butt Monkey will backfire and become a Scrappy, too. This usually happens when a writer attempts to make his mishaps even funnier by making him an unlikeable person to whom it's very satisfying to see horrible things befall. A great idea, but sometimes it backfires when the Butt Monkey becomes so annoying that whatever happens to him in the story, audiences are haunted by the feeling that it will never be enough." It also points out that a villians who is a Complete Monster, especially if they lack a cool factor of some sort, might fall into this for just being terrible with no motivation and no redeeming features (unlike a Well-Intentioned Extremist or a villian with a Freudian Excuse who are less at risk).

Your summation is better than mine, I just wanted to back-up my definition with "proof" from the trope description in case anyone is wondering where I am getting that from.

edited 22nd Mar '13 10:24:38 AM by willthiswork

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Mar 22nd 2013 at 12:48:25 PM

About this whole villains thing, well, no duh! What else do people expect villains to do? Wait and get their butts kicked after stealing some candy? God forbid you write a character that isn't 100% heroic! We've got enough works with characters like that. Why are they frowned on so much?

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Mar 22nd 2013 at 12:53:46 PM

^ I feel the same way, but if you read through the examples a lot of characters listed have explainations that amount to "this antagonist is antagonistic!"

Mar 23rd 2013 at 6:58:35 AM

I think people show more detest for heroes that do something nasty because, unlike the standard villain, they will more than likely get away with it, if not outright be treated as 100% right for doing so. Designated Heroes are often huge Scrappy bait.

MsCC93 from In your dreams <3 Relationship Status: Singularity
Mar 23rd 2013 at 2:59:46 PM


Which is why the trope gets a lot of misused examples (no offense)'s true how Designated Heroes fall under this trope, but not all of them.

dibkyle dibkyle from Canada
Mar 23rd 2013 at 6:06:38 PM

I know this isn't a place to complain, but I'm just wondering if i'm the only person here who fucking hates Gaz. Seriously, this character's personality pretty much consists of beating Dib up, playing video games, and making annoying comments. To top it off,she's the biggest Karma Houdini on the show. These are all Scrappy-level qualities, yet she still manages to be a popular character. The mere idea that she has so many defenders while likable female characters like say, Katara become Base Breakers is just infuriating.

Mar 23rd 2013 at 6:13:09 PM

Depends on the fandom really. Scrappydom can be random sometimes. Now really, does anyone in the harry potter fandom know if their spot in the Literature Section is correct? I look at forums and tumblr but I get conflicting results. It seems like everyone in that fandom is Base Breaker.

edited 23rd Mar '13 6:13:41 PM by MissKitten

Mar 23rd 2013 at 7:13:30 PM

Looking at the Harry Potter entries, as I'm somewhat involved in the fandom. Although I would also like to note that the description for The Scrappy is awful. I'm working off the assumption here that a scrappy is someone the majority of the fans hate (whether or not the character was intended to be hated—the TRS thread on the subject was inconclusive on the intentional/unintentional thing, and the description doesn't say anything about intentionality) and are vocal in that hatred. I'm also assuming that The Scrappy and Base Breaker are mutually exclusive, which I think it true.

Running down the list:

  • "every character somewhere": examples are not general. Cut.
  • "not scrappies": see above. Also, not the trope. Cut.
  • Ginny and Cho:
    • Ginny might count as a Base Breaker, as there is definitely a contingent of fans who can't stand her, but most fans are neutral to positive on her. Cut.
    • Cho probably counts. She draws fans' ire for two main reasons: one, she was Harry's first crush and things didn't work out between them, and two, she was friends with Marietta Edgecombe, who betrayed the DA to Umbridge, and Cho—horror of horrors—didn't turn her back on her friend after that.
  • Percy and Ron:
    • Percy counts. He gets fan hatred for being rather arrogant, too rule-bound, and pompously self-important. He also turned his back on his family for most of the last three books, siding with the Ministry over Harry and ignoring the reality of Voldemort's return.
    • Ron, like Ginny, might be a Base Breaker, but is certainly not a scrappy. While there are fans who absolutely hate him (see Ron the Death Eater), they're in the minority.
  • Uncle Vernon: He probably counts. He was intended to be a thoroughly dislikeable character, and he pretty universally is disliked, but most people aren't all that vocal in their hatred; it's kinda just assumed.
  • Dobby: Not a scrappy. He has a pretty large fan following, and almost all the rest are neutral. Actually, I'm not sure that there's even a noticeable number of people who hate him.
  • Umbridge: Definitely a scrappy. She is generally despised more than Voldemort, the Big Bad. She's a petty, sadistic, bigoted, bureaucratic-in-the-worst-ways Smug Snake.

edited 23rd Mar '13 7:38:24 PM by Nocturna

Mar 23rd 2013 at 7:40:30 PM

Thanks for that. Ugh. I'm going to let someone else tackle the Western Animation section. Oh God, the Video Game section.

edited 23rd Mar '13 7:42:27 PM by MissKitten

AnotherDuck No, the other one. from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
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Mar 23rd 2013 at 9:20:45 PM

[up][up]I'm not sure I'd count Vernon and Umbridge. Sure, they're hated, but are they hated because they ruin the plot, or because they're written as characters you're supposed to hate? I think it's largely the latter.

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Mar 23rd 2013 at 9:46:14 PM

The definition of the trope currently doesn't make any distinction about why the character has a hatedom. Just that it does.

While I agree that it would make sense to have that criteria in there (or at least a "hated more than intended" criteria), that would be more of a TRS issue, as it would involve changing the definition.

Mar 23rd 2013 at 10:07:36 PM

I admit my own intense opinions may have affected who I wrote for some of my entries so I may check.

I know most fans prefer the villains in The Dreamstone but haven't really that many sources to know how widespread the actual dislike for the heroes is.

Would examples that exist with professional staff but not the fanbase also count (eg. I wrote in Frank Tashlin and other WB staff's stated dislike for Porky Pig, though I know he's not really such with most fans).

I also wrote in some I thought were Base Breakers and made notes of such (eg. Princess Sally or Rebecca Cunningham) while they are intense enough I thought they may count, I don't know if they do for the very reason that...well they are Base Breakers (eg. some fans do like Sally, but those that don't take it to quite a level).

edited 23rd Mar '13 10:22:47 PM by Psi001

AnotherDuck No, the other one. from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Mar 23rd 2013 at 10:34:13 PM

[up][up]So is it a bad writing trope or not? It claims to be one, in which case a character who's intentionally written as hateful wouldn't count as long as she doesn't ruin the work.

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Mar 23rd 2013 at 11:19:30 PM

Where does it claim to be a bad writing trope?

AnotherDuck No, the other one. from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Mar 24th 2013 at 12:54:51 AM

For one, it claims to be a variant of Jumping the Shark. But it also speaks about risks or being doomed, which indicates it's not a trope you should strive for. The part about Temporary Scrappy also implies it's the only way to deliberate make such a character. Overall, just a very negatively written trope description.

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Mar 24th 2013 at 2:03:34 AM

The Jumping the Shark bit was added by a single troper, if you look at the history, and should probably be removed. Having a scrappy does not mean a show has jumped the shark.

SeptimusHeap from Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Mar 24th 2013 at 2:14:38 AM

The Scrappy is really "character I don't like". I do not see how Monsters or deliberately hateworthy people could belong on it.

Jumping the Shark needs more than The Scrappy, though.

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AnotherDuck No, the other one. from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Mar 24th 2013 at 2:55:08 AM

[up]They can, though not for the reasons they're supposed to be hateful for. Happosai is a good example. People just refuse to watch episodes he's a major character in, which is a clear Scrappy indicator. It's one thing to hate a character, but another to give up watching because of him.

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Mar 24th 2013 at 7:07:25 AM

Same for characters like Peter Griffin or Mr Krabs. They are meant to be repulsive and void of redeeming aspects, but in an entertaining sense. Fans have outright abandoned their respective shows due to finding them intolerable.

edited 24th Mar '13 7:07:56 AM by Psi001

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Mar 25th 2013 at 8:02:56 AM

@dibkyle: Well if she has lots of defenders and fans, then that wouldn't make her a Scrappy now, would it? A "Scrappy" is someone who is widely hated.

Mar 25th 2013 at 9:13:12 AM

The Scrappy is def a bad writing trope, but I think it has been pushed away from that because bad writing tropes are not actually tropes, they are just excuses for people to bitch about stuff.

But yeah, The Scrappy is not a thing you do intentionally. You can parody The Scrappy or reference The Scrappy intentionally, but a Scrappy by definition causes people to dislike your work.

If I had complete control over TV Tropes I think I would limit examples to characters so universally reviled that other works reference how hated they are. Using a well known and widely disliked character as the butt of a mean joke is a trope. "This character sucks" is not a trope. That fits the name better anyhow, since at the time Scrappy-Doo was really more of a Base Breaker, his hatedom is mostly based around people making fun of him after the fact. Jar-Jar Binks would be another pretty ideal example, it is not just that Star Wars fans dislike him, even non-fans recognise him as the butt of some cosmic joke.

Bleh, sorry, that is TRS stuff I guess. I want to help the clean-up effort but I cannot get around how broken the definition is.

edited 25th Mar '13 9:13:53 AM by willthiswork

Mar 25th 2013 at 11:38:57 AM

I don't think its fair to say The Scrappy is a bad writing trope, especially since I've seen characters become scrappies just because they are not Action Girls, or they don't conform to what the fandom thinks is badass.

But anyway, Somebody help me tackle the Video Game section. Starting with the Dragon Age folder.

edited 25th Mar '13 11:40:11 AM by MissKitten

Mar 25th 2013 at 12:12:38 PM

^ I could probably make an agument there, but I am just going to drop it since it is not really relevent.

Re:Dragon Age - Is it fair to remove Alister and Wynn? I am pretty sure fans of those two outnumber haters by quite a bit.

Mar 25th 2013 at 12:18:04 PM

If that's true then you should remove them. This trope is more than just characters having a hatedom. If characters have more fans than haters then I don't think they should be counted as a scrappy.

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