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Apr 15th 2013 at 1:01:19 PM

It's occurred to me that we have a lot of tropes out there, but I don't know if anyone has set up parent/child relationships and shares a parent with.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could be able to find out the relationship a given trope has?

Oh, Equestria, we stand on guard for thee!
SeptimusHeap from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Apr 15th 2013 at 1:09:21 PM

Yes. I specifically added an item to the how-to page for page moves about that.

Telcontar In uffish thought from England
In uffish thought
Apr 15th 2013 at 1:31:10 PM

Just checking: Do you know that this feature (with a random page in there) exists already and wish to promote use of it, or are you unaware of it and requesting that something like it be added?

That was the amazing part. Things just keep going.
Apr 15th 2013 at 3:05:31 PM

[up] As a matter of fact, I am aware of the existence of the feature and I'm hoping to promote the use of it.

For instance, Invincible Villain. What would be appropriate trope relationships to set it up with?

Oh, Equestria, we stand on guard for thee!
XFllo Witch from Where foxes bid people good night... Relationship Status: One True Dodecahedron
Witch
Apr 15th 2013 at 3:22:47 PM

Yay, great thread. [awesome] I always feel tropes are somehow related, but I can never tell whether it's a sister trope or parent trope. So.. this is really cool.

🌑🌒🌓🌔🌕🌖🌗🌘🌑
SeptimusHeap from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Nocturna Seeking for Light
Seeking for Light
Apr 15th 2013 at 4:42:40 PM

[up] Villains. I think redirects mess up the tool.

edited 15th Apr '13 4:43:11 PM by Nocturna

Apr 15th 2013 at 5:54:17 PM

[up] Yes, it does. sad It's pretty sad when the tool can't take redirects into account. Oh well, you can't have everything.

Dropped a Bridge on Him doesn't have any relationships specified. Any suggestions?

edited 15th Apr '13 5:54:42 PM by TiggersAreGreat

Oh, Equestria, we stand on guard for thee!
Apr 16th 2013 at 9:19:17 PM

Child of Character Death, but I don't know if there's a step in between.

XFllo Witch from Where foxes bid people good night... Relationship Status: One True Dodecahedron
Witch
Apr 16th 2013 at 11:55:19 PM

[up][up] Lots of the Death Tropes might be sister tropes. Right?

[down] OK, thanks.

edited 17th Apr '13 10:11:03 AM by XFllo

🌑🌒🌓🌔🌕🌖🌗🌘🌑
Nocturna Seeking for Light
Seeking for Light
Apr 17th 2013 at 8:38:21 AM

[up] Sister tropes are established only through sharing a parent.

m8e from Sweden Relationship Status: Wanna dance with somebody
Apr 18th 2013 at 10:38:47 AM

Hey, thanks for the suggestion on Dropped a Bridge on Him. That was very kind of you guys! grin

You know how there are a number of tropes out there that are similar to each other but they have to be contrasted? For instance, there are Do Not Taunt Cthulhu, Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?, Bullying a Dragon and Mugging the Monster. Four tropes that sound the same, but have relatively subtle differences between them. Would they qualify as Sister Tropes?

Oh, Equestria, we stand on guard for thee!
Apr 19th 2013 at 11:00:12 AM

^ Only if they are all coming from a common supertrope. Tropes that seem to be siblings but do not have a supertrope in common may be a sign that there is a supertrope missing.

Which reminds me, there are a couple indexes that feel like they ought to be supertropes or have a supertrope counterpart. Like the one for dying words. Character says something before he dies seems like a supertrope to me. Should I YKTTW something up for that? Do high-level supertropes require examples? I mean, logically, listing examples for something like The Protagonist is kind of pointless, but I am not really sure what the procedure for making missing supertropes is.

edited 19th Apr '13 11:05:57 AM by willthiswork

MarqFJA Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus
May 11th 2017 at 2:06:30 PM

After a discussion on Ask The Tropers ([1]) and with the staff, I've received the greenlight to necro this thread with the aim of expanding its purview, so that it serves as a place for general discussion and vetting of trope relationships (e.g. whether or not Trope-A is a subtrope/supertrope of Trope-B). That last one is particularly important, because I've had to fix several mistaken assumptions of supertrope/subtrope-ness over the past few months.

Example: For some reason, someone determined that Tertiary Sexual Characteristics a supertrope to Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism and Non-Mammalian Mammaries, in flagrant ignorance of the fact that it violates the "subtrope's examples must always fulfill the criteria for the supertrope as well" principle behind a supertrope-subtrope relationship note . I've already amended that part of the description.


I had recently noticed that Master of Your Domain's description says that it's a subtrope of the rather recently created Biomanipulation. Upon looking up that trope's description, there's no actual listing of subtropes, but instead a list of tropes representing potential capabilities that one could have if they possess the power of Biomanipulation, with Master of Your Domain being included among those tropes. This, and remembering the fact that for X to be a subtrope of Y, every example of X has to be also an example of Y, made me wonder not only whether Master of Your Domain really is a subtrope of Biomanipulation, but whether any of the other tropes described as potential results/applications of Biomanipulation qualified as actual subtropes thereof.

So with that said, which of the following tropes qualifies as a subtrope of Biomanipulation? I'll be including my opinion if I have any.

When we are crushing the black hearts of our oppressors, we will find our hands blackened.
WaterBlap Blapper of Water Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Blapper of Water
May 12th 2017 at 9:32:42 AM

Well, here's my opinion:

  • Describe as "See also"
    • Healing Hands and Psychic Surgery: "for when the character is manipulating the flesh of another character in order to heal them"
    • Body Horror: "which may occur when a character with this ability distorts the flesh of another character"
  • Describe as "Contrast"
    • Shapeshifting: "since shapeshifting is almost always an individual manipulating themselves rather than the bodies of others"
  • Cut Completely

Concerning Master of Your Domain, I don't think every example of the subtrope needs to be an example of the supertrope. Not every Unicorn is a Cool Horse, because if all horses in the work are Unicorns then none of them are Cool Horses. Your definition of subtrope usually applies specifically to those supertropes that are so vast that their "subtrope" is practically a subpage for specific types of examples.

That said, I want to say that Master of Your Domain is the subtrope to Biomanipulation, but biomanipulation states that the power affects "beings other than the user." So, maybe they're sister tropes? One applying to targets other than the user and the other applying only to the user.

[witty saying]
MarqFJA Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus
May 12th 2017 at 1:38:40 PM

Concerning Master of Your Domain, I don't think every example of the subtrope needs to be an example of the supertrope. Not every Unicorn is a Cool Horse, because if all horses in the work are Unicorns then none of them are Cool Horses. Your definition of subtrope usually applies specifically to those supertropes that are so vast that their "subtrope" is practically a subpage for specific types of examples.
The thing is, I didn't come up with that definition. It's the one that I got from reading multiple TRS threads and "Is this an example?" thread posts that involved a supertrope/subtrope relation (real or not).

That said, I want to say that Master of Your Domain is the subtrope to Biomanipulation, but biomanipulation states that the power affects "beings other than the user." So, maybe they're sister tropes? One applying to targets other than the user and the other applying only to the user.
I read that part as being merely one way the trope could manifest, rather than an innate aspect of the definition; i.e. Biomanipulation might be usable on oneself as well as other beings, or only on oneself, or only on other beings.

When we are crushing the black hearts of our oppressors, we will find our hands blackened.
WaterBlap Blapper of Water Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Blapper of Water
May 12th 2017 at 3:22:22 PM

Both of those definitions of Subtrope are valid. I didn't mean "your definition" as in "you made this up on your own."

I read that part as being merely one way the trope could manifest, rather than an innate aspect of the definition

There needs to be some distinction between the tropes. It seems like the easiest distinction to have that as an innate aspect of the trope.

[witty saying]
MarqFJA Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus
May 12th 2017 at 3:48:05 PM

I don't agree with you on either point... but I also don't like the fact that we're the only ones discussing this. It's easy to become blind to flaws in your own argument when you and the other guy are the only ones debating.

When we are crushing the black hearts of our oppressors, we will find our hands blackened.
crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
May 12th 2017 at 7:55:43 PM

Not every Unicorn is a Cool Horse, because if all horses in the work are Unicorns then none of them are Cool Horses.
Two problems with that analogy; the first is that "cool" is a relatively subjective term; the definition really asks for a way to Travel Cool on an animal (it doesn't have to be a horse). The second is that the definition doesn't limit the number of such examples in a work.
I don't think every example of the subtrope needs to be an example of the supertrope.
The definition of Sub-Trope requires that each example of a subtrope be an example of the supertrope. From the definition: "These sub-tropes can be listed instead of the super trope, seeing as the sub-trope implies the presence of the super trope."
Biomanipulation might be usable on oneself as well as other beings, or only on oneself, or only on other beings.
This is supported by the current description:
  • the power to manipulate biology and biological lifeforms
  • This is potentially a very broad power, with its capabilities including, but not limited to [...] Healing Factor
  • Depending on the setting and the power level, may be [...] limited to [...] beings other than the user

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
WaterBlap Blapper of Water Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Blapper of Water
May 12th 2017 at 9:15:39 PM

The definition of Sub-Trope requires that each example of a subtrope be an example of the supertrope.

How do you account for duplicates if that is literally the only possible definition of a subtrope? "If all examples of Trope A are also examples of Trope B, then Trope A is a duplicate of Trope B." On a Venn diagram, Trope A's circle would be completely within Trope B. Most of the time, nothing in Trope A's examples would be distinct, and we would say that it's just The Same But More Specific or just a duplicate.

However, as I already said, Trope A could be a valid subtrope if Trope B is vast (vast in its definition, e.g., Character Death, or vast in its number of specific examples, e.g., Mary Sue). It would simply make sense to split Trope B into some of its parts. But that's if the supertrope is very general or has a crap ton of examples.

What I was saying is more like when the Venn diagram is overlapping circles. Not every example of Trope C is also Trope D, but — to quote Subtrope — "they share the same common theme in their definition, but they each have additional features that distinguish one from another."

Here's the paragraph from the page (with my emphasis), since [up] quoted only one little part of it:

What makes a sub-trope can vary. Perhaps the most common way is that several examples of a trope have a common element not seen in the other examples. That makes them distinct from the larger trope while still being included. Or, as mentioned above, a trope can have several possible variations built in, and once examples of any of those variations are common enough, they form a sub-trope. These sub-tropes can be listed instead of the super trope, seeing as the sub-trope implies the presence of the super trope. Heck, some tropes can be sub-tropes of more than one super trope.

If every example of a subtrope is necessarily an example of its supertropes, then how do you account for those tropes that are the subtrope of multiple supertropes? That wouldn't work by that strict definition.

[witty saying]
Xtifr World's Toughest Milkman Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
May 13th 2017 at 2:21:39 AM

Yes, subtropes and supertropes have a strict subset/superset mathematical relationship. (I think that's what you're trying to get at by talking about Venn diagrams.) And if a trope is a subtrope of two (or more) supertropes, that means it's in the intersection between those two tropes.

Thus, if blind swordmaster were common enough to be a separate trope, it might be a subtrope of both Handicapped Badass and Master Swordsman.

And yes, to say that Blind Swordsmaster was a subtrope of both would mean that every example would be an example of both supertropes.

edited 13th May '17 2:21:58 AM by Xtifr

Speaking words of fandom: let it squee, let it squee.
crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
May 13th 2017 at 8:30:53 AM

What I was saying is more like when the Venn diagram is overlapping circles. Not every example of Trope C is also Trope D,
If Trope C is declared a subtrope of Trope D, then in a Venn diagram, C is a subset of D. Traditional example of this: Rectangle is the supertrope, and Square is the subtrope. All squares are an example of a rectangle, but have additional properties that set them apart from the rest of the rectangles. Trapezoids and Rectangles are sister tropes because they are both distinct forms of the same supertrope: quadrilaterals. They cannot overlap but they can be similar.

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
AnotherDuck No, the other one. from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
May 13th 2017 at 11:02:14 AM

Sister tropes can overlap, though. They're neither defined nor restricted by each other.

Check out my fanfiction!
WaterBlap Blapper of Water Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Blapper of Water
May 13th 2017 at 2:03:20 PM

[up][up][up] Well, I was using Venn diagrams to help explain what I mean. I'm trying to say that they don't have a super-strict or super-logical relationship, but it seems that most other people disagree with me on that front.

I used Venn diagrams because I'm familiar with them from logic, not from mathematics.

[up][up] But we wouldn't say that all squares are rectangles, or all rectangles are squares. We would say that all squares are quadrilaterals (and we'd say the same of rectangles). The square is not a subset of the rectangle. They share at least one defining characteristic, namely that they have four equal (90-degree) angles. But they have at least one salient difference, namely the lengths of their sides. Rectangles do not have equal sides, whereas squares do. Any alleged rectangle with equal sides would be a square. Speaking strictly (and logically), that would mean "no squares are rectangles," and "no rectangles are squares." They have a salient and contradictory characteristic. I think these would be sister tropes of quadrilaterals, since they'd necessarily be quadrilaterals. They do have overlap (their similar characteristic), but their distinction (in this case, the lengths of their sides) makes them different tropes.

Which brings us back to the thing about subtropes and duplicates. I don't think they have to be subsets of one another. As I already said, if the supertrope is large enough, sections can be split into subtropes. But what about those cases that don't concern large supertropes? What if Trope C is just "medium sized" so to speak and someone proposes Trope D in TLP? How do we fairly determine if that's a duplicate before it gets launched? I've seen people in TLP try really hard to tackle duplicates that were essentially The Same But More Specific, and they usually get a tap on the shoulder. To me, that means that not every subset is just a duplicate.

To use another example from geometry, let's look at triangles.

All equilateral triangles are triangles, and some triangles are equilateral triangles. A triangle is a shape that has three angles and three sides. An equilateral triangle is a shape that has three sides of equal length and three angles. The equilateral triangle is a subset of the triangle because its salient characteristics are The Same But More Specific. Assuming the example sections of these hypothetical tropes is equal, is the equilateral triangle a "subtrope" or a "duplicate" of the triangle?

I would say it's a subtrope because it's a significantly distinct kind of triangle. But I've seen people effectively argue that, because all equilateral triangles are triangles, such a trope would be a duplicate.

They cannot overlap but they can be similar.
What do you mean? The similarity is, or at least ought to be, the same thing as the overlap. What else is the overlap but the similarity?

This post got a lot longer than I anticipated.

edited 13th May '17 2:04:00 PM by WaterBlap

[witty saying]

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