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Yeah. They aren't tropes. They're just objects that happen to be in the story. There are tropes that involve those objects, but the objects themselves aren't tropes.
Still don't see the argument. The description talks about the chaotic visual effect and the majority of examples talk about how its a particular character's Weapon of Choice or that someone uses the noise and danger of the weapon to terrify people. I mean, it's all right there on the trope page. It may need a clean up, but it's a trope.
The definition is a mess that mentions so many things that it makes it so that not one single example on the page actually describes what the trope is to someone who isn't familiar with the trope. As a result, every single example is effectively a ZCE and should be commented out. That's the problem when your definition just mashes a bunch of tropes together. There aren't any actual examples of that bunch of mashed together tropes.
^ Yeeeep, this kinda nonsense is all over the place and it takes a lot of work to hammer it out.
What needs to be done for most of these is to look at the examples and figure out what tropes are being represented there, YKTTW and launch them, then either make the originals supertropes or just indexes depending on which on fits best.
If we had more than one trope for each weapon type we would cut down on the shoehorning on ZCE I would bet, since tropers would have to actually think about which one fits and then explain how.
However, as I said before, that is a great deal of work. It would be a bit more narrow in scope that the Appearance Tropes clean-up, but a similar amount of effort per trope.
Still don't buy it, but what is being proposed is a massive undertaking because not all weapon tropes are the same. You'll have to start a TRS for each trope and come to the decision of cut, clean or repurpose for each one. They are not all "broken" the same way.
Then we make this a long term project. Just because there's a lot of stuff to be fixed doesn't mean we shouldn't fix it.
Well, I did make a long term project thread on this issue but it's been dead in over a year so maybe we should start with a fresh one with a better OP?
That OP doesn't sound so bad to me, to be honest. Short but to the point.
Just thought I'd throw chime in with this since it seems to be popping up a lot in this discussion:
A lot of people misunderstand what People Sit In Chairs means. something being completely meaningless and having no impact on the story or traits of a character. Something being extremely common and played a number of different ways is a reason something is tropeworthy, not why it isn't.
See No Trope Is Too Common and Omnipresent Tropes.
A character's Weapon of Choice demonstrates quite a bit about their personality, fighting style, cultural background, etc.- they have a lot of examples because they are common tropes. They really don't need much context, either, unless its a subversion of the typical situation, like a refined elf-type character with An Ax To Grind. If it bothers people for some reason that there are a lot of listed straight examples, you could always make these tropes collect subversion/inversion examples only (ie when the weilder doesn't match the typical traits of the archetypical wielder of that type of weapon)
edited 20th Oct '14 11:47:24 AM by Scorpion451
Exactly, I think there are a few of the tropes that need some repair but to make a broad claim that all or most of the tropes listed in Weapon of Choice are not tropeworthy is completely missing the reasons why some tropes are used. People Sit On Chairs is about lack of purpose, not the act itself.
For example, we can speculate that a more specific idea of Crazy Chainsaw Dude is a common trope, but the use of Chainsaw Good evokes a specific visual and audio effect that doesn't always apply to the exact same situations and characters. An episode of Home Improvement had Tim bragging about getting to use a chainsaw, only to cower when he saw how big the thing was. An episode of Scrubs had Dr. Kelso use a rotary saw to gain entrance to a room that was sealed off with drywall. You can try to make a bunch of subtropes, but without a core supertrope you're going to get bad examples for those instances where someone just uses a chainsaw and doesn't fit a subtrope.
But we don't make pages for Brown Hair, Cursive Writing, or Sandwiches. Just because something exists doesn't make it a trope. The concept of "weapons being used as weapons" is not a trope. Vikings with axes? Trope. Jason expies with chainsaws? Trope. Sailors with harpoon guns? Trope. But the weapons themselves are not the trope.
edited 20th Oct '14 2:24:44 PM by BinaryStep
but at least some weapon trope explains how appropriate a weapon would be in certain situations, without having to mention specifics in the trope name. We don't need Firefighter'sAxe or Dwarven Axe cuz An Axe to Grind is enough.
An Axe to Grind is a list of everyone with an axe in fiction even if it never gets used and is just decoration, erases all actual tropes about axes by it existence, and manages to be less than useles.
I fail to see how a character who deliberately chooses to use a particular weapon is not a trope. It isn't "this weapon shows up in the background" but "this weapon is used in a particular instance." Like I said, in Home Improvement Tim spends a significant portion of an episode bragging about the power of a chainsaw. Obviously he believes in Chainsaw Good, even though it isn't his Weapon of Choice. It would be like trying to make a character trope out of Cool Car. Just because attention is drawn to an object it doesn't make it People Sit On Chairs, in fact because attention is drawn to an object that makes it a trope.
The part where he's bragging about it would be a good idea to include in an example, then, since that's what really highlights the trope.
That's what I've been saying. Bad examples doesn't mean the trope is bad, only some of the tropes really need help and not the entire Weapon of Choice index. They may need some repair with a more concise description and cutting the "it shows up in the background" examples but saying it's "Not Tropeworthy" is simply false. I would support a clean-up, but actively oppose cutting them under the pretense of People Sit On Chairs.
edited 20th Oct '14 6:34:19 PM by KJMackley
What KJ Mackley said.
I don't think the presence of the weapons is meaningless, but it's not very useful to have "tropes" about them that consist of "If this weapon appears, it will be significant!...Somehow." They need to have more direction than that.
There seems to be a pretty simple solution to this — just do cleanup on the Weapon of Choice tropes to make sure that they're valid examples of weapons-as-characterizations rather than just lists of appearances of the weapon. (Of course "simple" isn't the same as "easy" — we'd probably need a dedicated long term project for it.)
It's not just bad examples. The whole Weapon of Choice thing is flawed.
Bob is in a film. There's one fight scene in it. He grabs the fireman's axe that mappers to be handy. Suddenly, he's considered to have a Weapon of Choice even if all he did was grab it and hold it while people fought around him.
In most media, sword vs. axe matters as much as jeans vs. sweat pants. It's just not a big characterisation thing. People just need a weapon and they didn't have a budget for more than one.
That is clearly misuse of the trope. If not, then it should be. Problem solved.
To put it succinctly, it's not about people using weapons, it's about people owning weapons. Heck, the current (bad) description of Weapon of Choice uses the word "possess" rather than "use". Clearly you misread it.
Even the name implies that choice is at the heart of it. How could you possibly believe that "it was handy" could ever be an example...?
edited 21st Oct '14 6:46:11 AM by Clarste
That's not a flaw in the trope, that's just misuse. Unless the use of an axe signifies something (ie, a preference for brute strength over finesse or a loss of control that temporarily leads to such a preference, etc) it's not an example of An Axe to Grind. Listing "Bob used an axe in this scene because it happened to be handy" is misuse of An Axe to Grind and should be removed. There's nothing wrong with An Axe to Grind in that case, it's just that Bob and his axe are Not An Example.
And now we reach the point where the Weapon of Choice tropes include the bad examples but exclude the good ones.
If Bob grabs a chainsaw from the shelf because that happened to be the closest heavy object that's Chainsaw Good because he's using the weapon.
If Bob runs away from a guy wearing a hockey mask and just holding a chainsaw, that's not Chainsaw Good.
Even though one of those is clearly invoking an actual trope of Chainsaw Weilding Maniac, and one of them is just using weapons interchangeably.
The problem is, by assuming everyone who picks up a particular weapon is a trope, you're erasing the actual instances of tropes. It's just like everyone who wears jeans isn't part of some jean trope even though it's the same level of characterisation.
I'm confused now. You seem to be repeating yourself without acknowledging the responses we're making.
Let's put aside Chainsaw Good for a moment. "Chainsaws used as weapon" is probably tropeworthy in and of itself, given that chainsaws aren't intended to be weapons. Let's stick with An Axe to Grind instead, since we were already talking about that.
Looking at two separate examples of a character using an axe in combat.
Example one is not An Axe to Grind. It's just "Bob uses an axe", which is the axe equivalent of People Sit On Chairs — "people uses axes to hit things". Example two is An Axe to Grind; Bob's use of an axe is a characterization tool, showing that he prefers brute strength and a straightforward "hit them as hard as I can until they die" style rather than using something like fancy swordwork or precise aim to win battles.
edited 21st Oct '14 7:58:58 AM by NativeJovian
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How well does it match the trope?