Follow TV Tropes
Heh, I thought I had deja vu for a couple seconds.
Then I remembered I did take part in discussing this trope in TRS: link. Reposting some of my posts from there:
The main symptom of being an Ensemble Dark Horse is... becoming a Breakout Character. That's because the companies and creators usually listen to their audience, and if a character becomes unexpectedly popular, they usually try to cash in on that.
What I would suggest is to limit Ensemble Dark Horse only to those examples that don't become a Breakout Character/Ascended Extra.
And also, some examples from the Comic Book page that I think don't really fit:
edited 27th Sep '15 12:00:58 PM by Rjinswand
Zapp Brannigan on YMMV.Futurama is listed as both a Scrappy and an Ensemble Dark Horse. I was pretty sure those were mutually exclusive, but even if they're not, I don't really think either applies. Zapp's liked, but not hugely. He's generally more a Love to Hate guy.
Yeah, those are mutually exclusive. The size of fanbase an Ensemble Dark Horse requires is one that disqualifies a character from being The Scrappy.
Also unsure if he qualifies for either. Definitely not The Scrappy, though.
Michael Pena's Luis from Ant-Man is listed as both this trope and Broken Base. I've never seen anyone hating on the character, but then again I'm not too involved with the MCU fandom, so I don't really know which one is more accurate.
In Pan, Blackbeard is listed as Ensemble Dark Horse even though he's a main character (the Big Bad in fact). Should the entry be removed?
No idea about the fandoms, but a Big Bad is pretty much automatically disqualified. I suppose it could be possible if the character is extremely out of focus for the role, but that's not the case here.
Fair enough. Blackbeard's entry is zapped.
So, YMMV.Questionable Content. Three examples, and I'm not sure any of them actually fit.
edited 7th Dec '15 8:18:07 AM by Larkmarn
Posting this for reference and to bump.
YMMV.Trailer Park Boys
Conky is an example, since he only appeared in one standalone episode in season 4, then reappeared in an arc in season 7 (where he "dies"). Bubbles was a main character from the start and Phil Collins would be a Breakout Character.
How much of a "main" character was Bubbles, and how popular? If it's far beyond what would be expected of the position (which means it needs to significantly surpass other more prominent characters), it can be an example.
If you don't count the pilot movie as canon, Bubbles is one of the core three, is in every episode and movie and receives roughly equal screentime as Ricky and Julian.
Philadelphia Collins was a minor character in earlier seasons, then became a recurring character around season six and appeared at least once an episode.
Then Bubbles doesn't fit.
And yes, Breakout Character is a better fit.
I would like to point out a case on the Robot Wars YMMV page.
Steg-O-Saw-Us is listed as an Ensemble Darkhorse, but nothing is said about its popularity or fan reaction, and the entry just talks about how it was a reserve robot that made it to the Grand Final.
Doesn't fit. There are far more popular robots out there, like Hypno-Disc and Razer.
All right. Steg-O-Saw-Us has been removed.
YMMV.The Man With The Golden Gun listed Scaramanga as an Ensemble Darkhorse.
Scaramanga is the villain of the film, not a minor character.
Yeah, a little too major of a character, especially since it's a Bond flick.
The Next Food Network Star
Lenny from Season 10 is listed as a darkhorse, although the entry right under him says that he lost that status, and he also has a lengthy entry in the Scrappy section. From the looks of things, it seems that the darkhorse entry was written early on in the season, considering it just lists something he did in the premiere and some generic praises, while the scrappy entry was written later in the season, with more specific details.
So should we cut the darkhorse entry?
I'd say so. Fifteen minutes of fame isn't exactly Ensemble Dark Horse material.
Gotcha. Lenny's entry has been removed, and the entry below it has been edited to compensate for that.
edited 27th Apr '16 9:30:14 PM by TheFox
I'd argue Scaramanga counts, but for the Bond Franchise as a whole. As the writeup points out, he's considered one of the best Bond villains even though his movie isn't a particularly important or well-regarded one. I'd be down to include him on the franchise-wide YMMV page.
Anyone have any thoughts on the Questionable Content darkhorses?
Is he more popular than Bond himself?
Of course not, but he's more popular than any other one-shot villain, all of whom would have equal (or greater) prominence than he does.
Anyone want to chime in on my Questionable Content queries?
Ensemble Dark Horse isn't just "most popular of a particular group". It's about being significantly more popular than what you'd expect from a character of that tier. A one-shot bit character being significantly more popular than the supporting cast. A supporting character being significantly more popular than the main characters. "This villain is more popular than other villains of similar caliber" isn't the trope. That's not being unexpectedly popular. A villain isn't a darkhorse among other villains. A one-time villain is a darkhorse compared to the series main character.
I'm not familiar with QC, but your reasoning seems to hold up. There's also not a lot of context to the examples.
edited 18th May '16 1:00:14 PM by AnotherDuck
Just noting that I'm removing Sheik and Vaati from EnsembleDarkhorse.The Legend Of Zelda
Vaati is listed as Big Bad, and is as such disqualified. Sheik is Zelda.
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?