Follow TV Tropes


Genre Savvy cleanup

Go To

ObsidianFire Relationship Status: Not caught up in your love affair
Apr 2nd 2016 at 3:19:47 PM

[up]Like I said, you could ax all the non-Genre Savvy examples of Dangerously Genre Savvy and move all the remaining examples to Genre Savvy and none of the examples would really loose their meaning. I was hard-pressed to find one correct example on the amime sub-page and I doubt the other folders are that much different.

I'd leave that until I'm done cleaning up Genre Savvy though as that trope is way more prevalent.

Morgenthaler Angelic.
May 29th 2016 at 1:44:56 AM

I'm seeing a lot of misuse for the tropes supposedly related to Genre Savvy as well. Like this example from the Quantum Leap page:

  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Due to arriving from a different time into an already in progress situation, Sam and/or Al sometimes misinterpret a situation.
    • "The Color of Truth": Sam keeps forgetting that given the rampant racism prevalent in the Deep South during the late 1950's, a black man doing minor things like sitting at a diner counter and drinking from a fountain were Serious Business.
    • "Last Dance Before An Execution": Sam leaps into a death row inmate and thinks he's supposed to prove him and his partner innocent. The attempt to prove it only confirms the guilt of the guy he leaped into. It's actually the guy's partner who's innocent and the one that needs to be saved, so Sam has to publicly confess.
    • "Thou Shalt Not...": In the original history, the Basch family fell apart because the wife had an affair. Sam leaps into the husband's brother, so he and Al initially think he's the one she had an affair with. Actually, it's an author that had just arrived in town.
    • "Runaway": A frustrated mother leaves the family and just disappears. Sam and Al come to believe Emma ran off with an old high school friend that the family keeps encountering during a road trip. Trying to keep them apart doesn't change history because Emma actually died in the original history and her body was never found.
    • "Nuclear Family": During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Sam leaps into the brother of Mac Elroy, a fallout shelter salesman who went to jail for shooting a neighbor that tried to break into theirs. Sam struggles to prevent any possibility of him pulling the trigger, but the end reveals it was Mac's young son holding the gun and that Mac took the blame out of guilt.

Some of those may describe a Fish out of Water, but there's nothing in there about thinking in terms of tropes and being wrong.

In the year three-thousand and thirty, everybody wants to be an MC.
Morgenthaler Angelic.
Jul 29th 2016 at 7:22:20 AM

Any other thoughts on this? It looks like the misuse for Genre Savvy has definitely bled over to the sister tropes Genre Blind and Wrong Genre Savvy.

A small sampling from the WrongGenreSavvy.Film subpage:

  • The unease audiences feel toward Hannibal Lecter in Silence Of The Lambs is heightened by his seemingly unsavvy placement in the structure of the story. Genre conventions would make him the villain. But the story's villain is Buffalo Bill. "Hannibal the Cannibal" is actually the Trickster Mentor. He is Yoda to Clarice's Luke, the shadow counterpart of her FBI academy instructor. Other characters call him a monster, but Clarice addresses him as she would a teacher and he is among those who congratulate her when she graduates. His function in the story places him much closer to the main character than we would expect him to be, and far too close for comfort. With his breakout at the end of the film, this genre-savvy character sheds the mentor role and assumes a more conventional role as villain. In a sense, his act signals a return to "order".

That just means he fills an unconventional narrative role, there's no indication that he's (Wrong) Genre Savvy in any way.

  • Jack Burton of Big Trouble in Little China thinks he's a sort of western-style hero who takes charge and beats the bad guys with guts and bravado. However, he doesn't know anything about all the eastern mysticism going on. His best friend Wang has to explain everything to him. It's Wang who is actually the hero, out to rescue his girlfriend. Jack is actually the sidekick, just tagging along and trying to recover his lost truck.

Jack Burton is certainly a Decoy Protagonist, but does he ever treat his surroundings like a story? No.

  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
    • The knights tend to act like they are in a standard Arthurian romance, without realizing they are in anything from 1) A very low budget Arthurian Romance, 2) A realistic depiction of the dark ages, 3) A musical, or 4) A modern day Police Procedural.
    • Lancelot's Tale has a very obvious example of this. He keeps talking about how he's going to fulfill this quest of saving a Damselin Distress in his own "idiom" only for everything to go wrong for him since the movie's a parody. The script actually uses the word "genre" outright, but John Cleese forgot the correct word while filming resulting in a much funnier scene.

Again, is this ever commented on that the characters think they're playing out archetypal roles?

  • All of the Nazis in Downfall, but Hitler most of all. Hitler clings to the belief that a last-ditch counter-attack (made by military units which are woefully under strength or don't even exist anymore) is going to miraculously push back the advancing Soviets and Germany can go on to win the war. He insists such a thing will be the biggest reversal of fortune in military history, more so than Stalingrad was, and his secretaries and underlings believe him not knowing that the man has absolutely lost his grasp on reality. In real life, the OSS made a psychology report on Hitler and found something very insightful about him: he mentally processed his entire life on the model of a Wagnerian play where he was the hero, the kind of play where the hero would face insurmountable odds but prevail in the end through determination, incredible luck and divine favour. When cold, hard reality got in the way of that, he couldn't mentally process it - the report accurately predicted that the moment the war stopped going according to Hitler's "narrative", he would retreat to the seclusion of his bunker. The report also accurately predicted that he would give the order to burn down German towns and infrastructure even though such a thing would serve no purpose beyond spiteing the winners - once he saw that he was going to fail, Hitler would shift his worldview from a Wagnerian epic to a Wagnerian tragedy, the kind where the hero loses at the end and his entire castle burns down all around him like a funeral pyre to the gods. He then did everything he could to ensure as many Germans as possible would go down with him in a last blaze of glory, which meant sending Child Soldiers to their senseless deaths and behaving like a modern-day Nero.

That's tricky because the example invokes real life details for something that is never commented on in-universe. I'd call it shoehorning.

In the year three-thousand and thirty, everybody wants to be an MC.
Jul 29th 2016 at 9:05:29 AM

Agreed on all counts. The Genre Savvy family of tropes is one of the most misused on the wiki. As a rule of thumb, if you think you're seeing misuse, you're probably right and should go ahead and correct it.

Morgenthaler Angelic.
Jul 29th 2016 at 9:19:30 AM

One problem I have noticed with a lot of the misused entries beyond the "This character is so smart! Genre Savvy woot!" is what I think can best be described as troper projection. Namely, for some reason many tropers have a tendency to describe fictional characters as far more self-aware than they are actually portrayed. Hence the frequent shoehorns like:

  • Alice seems to be aware of the Never Found the Body trope, and tells her minions to keep looking for the hero.
  • Bob has obviously read the Evil Overlord List, as he never performs any villain clichés.

In the year three-thousand and thirty, everybody wants to be an MC.
Jul 29th 2016 at 10:03:38 AM

A big red flag in Wrong Genre Savvy entries is a sentence along the lines of "[character] seems to think they're in [genre]."

Do they specifically refer to works of that genre, e.g. "in a detective novel, the gumshoe always catches the crook by doing this"? If the answer is "no," then it's probably shoehorning / projection.

edited 29th Jul '16 10:05:49 AM by HighCrate

May 4th 2017 at 10:09:39 PM

A bit of necromancing, but this seemed to be the place to ask. I'm looking at Summer Genre Savvy entries in Podcast.Red Panda Adventures and I'm thinking none of them seem to fit. I wanted to get a general opinion here before I do any deleting since the entry is sizable.

  • Genre Savvy:
    • The Terrific Twosome, but most character show at least some sign of it.
    • In his first appearance the Mad Monkey purposely committed monkey themed thefts because he knew it would draw the Red Panda out.
    • Much, much later, he's forced into an Enemy Mine situation with Panda, and when Panda talks about the unusual interaction between their mental abilities, Monkey asks "did you just tell the bad guy about your powers?"
    • A puzzle themed villain was revealed to be a Nazi spy using it to mislead the police and government who are used to costume figures.
    • A king themed villain was really a Nazi spy who was trying to keep the criminal underworld stable and knew that the authorities would be less suspicious of someone who seemed Idiosyncrazy.

The main reason I'm thinking they don't work is because I understand genre savvy as being savvy of a genre, not savvy within a genre. Put another way these guys come by their knowledge by being a superhero story, not by reading them.

You know how in "Eragon" everyone cries 'a single tear'? Yeah, just TRY that in "One Piece" and see if it works. - Formerly Narm Charm
Madrugada Zzzzzzzzzz Relationship Status: In season
May 12th 2017 at 8:03:01 AM

Sorry to have not caught this one. No, none of those examples display Genre savvy. Intelligence, yes, knowledge of tropes, yes, recognition of patterns, yes. That that knowledge came from familiarity with fiction within the story, no.

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
May 12th 2017 at 10:43:09 AM

That's what I figured. Just it's a big enough deletion I wanted to hedge my bets a bit first. As I say, my usual litmus is whether a character is savvy of a genre vs savvy within a genre, or of they get the latter due to the former

You know how in "Eragon" everyone cries 'a single tear'? Yeah, just TRY that in "One Piece" and see if it works. - Formerly Narm Charm
May 21st 2017 at 2:21:42 PM

Doing some more wick cleaning. Based on previous posts in this thread, this is what's been done so far:

Completed crosswicks: A-D (Morgenthaler, 16.01.02), A (Obsidianfire, 16.03.30), B (Obsidianfire, 16.03.17), X-Y (Obsidianfire, 16.03.16), Z (Wyldchyld, 16.01.05).

Although most of that cleanup was over a year ago so more bad entries are sure to have popped up even in the "cleaned" areas. I guess that's why this is filed under "perpetual."

I gave the Es a thorough going-through today.

edited 21st May '17 2:22:20 PM by HighCrate

May 21st 2017 at 2:26:24 PM

High Crate, why did you delete Genre Savvy from Adventurers! again?

May 21st 2017 at 2:39:37 PM

For reference, the full entry was:

From which I deleted the "Genre Savvy" from the last line. If everything really is trying to kill the character in question, and there really is a chance that the lamp might be a monster, and he knows this, not because he's read books or watched movies in which lamps turn out to be evil monsters but because similar things have happened to him personally, then he's Taught by Experience, not Genre Savvy. Classic misuse of the sort that this thread is intended to purge.

edited 21st May '17 2:57:40 PM by HighCrate

May 21st 2017 at 4:55:36 PM

[up]That's... a less appropriate trope for this case. Taught by Experience doesn't really apply to stories like this.

edited 21st May '17 5:01:43 PM by Prfnoff

Madrugada Zzzzzzzzzz Relationship Status: In season
May 21st 2017 at 5:47:28 PM

[up]However, Genre Savvy specifically requires that the character recognize the situation because of other works of fiction he's familiar with. Karn may be that, but nothing in the example even suggests it. It may be that he's experienced it. It may be that he's been warned about it by other characters. It may be that he's paranoid., properly or otherwise.

It was entirely correct that Genre Savvy be removed there.

edited 21st May '17 5:48:17 PM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
May 24th 2017 at 11:23:58 AM

Finished cleaning the "Fa" and "Fe" wicks. Moving on to "Fi".

As there are over 9000 of these things yet to go, any amount of help would be appreciated.

edited 24th May '17 3:54:58 PM by HighCrate

May 27th 2017 at 5:54:01 PM

[up][up]Saying you're "entirely correct" doesn't mean you're entirely convincing. Karn is strongly implied in many Adventurers! strips to act the way he does because he's familiar with other RPG Mechanics Verses, but it's never quite acknowledged in-universe.

I also see you made an unlinked reference to the trope Properly Paranoid, which has a somewhat confusing Example as a Thesis description.

Madrugada Zzzzzzzzzz Relationship Status: In season
May 27th 2017 at 6:00:54 PM

"It's never quite acknowledged in-universe" — That's the problem with that entry. Proper use of the trope Genre Savvy requires that it be acknowledged In-universe. Otherwise every character who isn't a complete idiot "could maybe", or "could be assumed to" fit. It's not enough that the character knows what to do or not to do, it also requires that they (or someone else in the work) lampshades that they know because they consume fiction.

And if' I'd meant to rely on the Trope Properly Paranoid, I'd have linked it.

edited 27th May '17 6:02:28 PM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
Tomodachi Sour on the inside. Relationship Status: They grew on me like a tumor...
Sour on the inside.
May 29th 2017 at 4:04:01 PM

Edit: Forget it. I apologize for not knowing more about the tropes.

edited 29th May '17 4:16:22 PM by Tomodachi

Vindicated by History is for good products, not for bad games or movies with good ideas, as there are no bad ideas, only bad executions.
May 31st 2017 at 2:29:26 PM

This entry appears on Characters.Final Fantasy XII:

  • Genre Savvy: Balthier is constantly Leaning on the Fourth Wall with his astute observations of how the story around them unfolds. He immediately believes Basch's story about having an Evil Twin, is aware that the ancient tomb they're about to break into will be full of booby traps and monsters, etc. He also constantly reminds others that he's "the leading man;" as such he may be called upon to perform a Heroic Sacrifice, and is confident he has Plot Armor since "you know what they say about the leading man; he never dies." However, he's also Wrong Genre Savvy since he isn't the main hero; when Fran suggests he's "more of a supporting role" in the ending, Balthier gets offended.

There might be a valid example in here, but it's hard to tell. It claims that Balthier leans on the fourth wall without supporting that assertion with specific details. That the believes a story about an Evil Twin and anticipates boobytraps and monsters is meaningless without knowing where that knowledge comes from. The fact that he refers to himself as "the leading man" and leans on the Plot Armor trope is what makes me think this entry might be on to something; however, the last line claims that he's Wrong Genre Savvy, which 1.) if true should get its own entry instead of a sentence here and 2.) does not give sufficient context to tell if it's the case. There's no indication here that he's attempting to apply the conventions of a different genre to his own situation; being mistaken about his own role in the story would not make him Wrong Genre Savvy.

As written, the entry doesn't belong, but it might be salvageable by someone more knowledgeable about FFXII than I am.

May 31st 2017 at 2:39:28 PM

He is a genius, son of a scholar, noble and made a Judge at the age of only 16. A lot of what he talks about is relating fiction and how some of what was thought fiction is reality.

In Revenant Wings its hinted that the treasure he was after at the start was something he read in a book.

And 'I am the leading man" I think would be correct since he equates the situation to more of a Phantom Thief story instead of in the middle of a war epic.

edited 31st May '17 2:41:50 PM by Memers

May 31st 2017 at 2:58:42 PM

"He is a genius, son of a scholar, noble and made a Judge at the age of only 16."

None of that has anything to do with the Genre Savvy trope and should be omitted.

"A lot of what he talks about is relating fiction and how some of what was thought fiction is reality."

That sounds more promising. Can this be expanded and supported with specific details?

"In Revenant Wings its hinted that the treasure he was after at the start was something he read in a book."

Was the book a work of genre fiction? Did he generalize the rules and tropes of that genre and apply it to his own situation? Ex: "In my pirate novels, they always make an X mark where they bury the treasure, therefore the treasure is buried here!"

"And 'I am the leading man" I think would be correct since he equates the situation to more of a Phantom Thief story instead of in the middle of a war epic."

If that's the case, then a Wrong Genre Savvy entry could be written, but it would have to explain what Phantom Thief tropes he thinks applies that don't and where his knowledge of those tropes come from, and what war epic tropes he doesn't know apply that do. I see a lot of WGS entries that are just, "Thinks he's in [genre], but he's actually in [other genre]," and that's a Zero Context Example.

edited 31st May '17 3:38:55 PM by HighCrate

May 31st 2017 at 3:01:11 PM

Also, I finished the Fi wicks and am moving on to Fl.

Karxrida Frogally Amazing from The Extra Deck Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Frogally Amazing
May 31st 2017 at 3:11:32 PM

The FFXII example definitely sounds closer to Wrong Genre Savvy, but it also seems a bit too vague about what kind of knowledge he's working off of.

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody remembers it, who else will you have ice cream with?
Madrugada Zzzzzzzzzz Relationship Status: In season
May 31st 2017 at 4:22:06 PM

The line about "you know what they say about the leading man; he never dies." — "they say" means that he's talking about fiction. So he's Genre Savvy, but whether he's Wrong Genre Savvy is not clear. Wrong Genre Savvy says it applies "Even if you're correct about being in a story, it's possible for you to guess wrong about your role in the story, the genre of the story, or where on the various sliding scales your story is. Any way you spin it, it's still a common way of subverting Genre Savviness. "

If he thinks he's the leading man but he's a sidekick, he's right genre/wrong role WGS. If he's wrong about the genre, he's still WGS.

edited 31st May '17 4:25:19 PM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
Jun 1st 2017 at 2:01:07 PM

So far we seem agreed that Balthier is very likely either Genre Savvy or Wrong Genre Savvy— potentially both— but nobody here seems to have enough knowledge of the game's story to write a cogent entry. I'm going to give it another 24 hours and then comment out the entry, since the way it's written now is lacking in context no matter how you slice it.

Also, finished with the "Fl" wicks and moving on to the "Fo"s. Any help would be appreciated.

Total posts: 139

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: