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Misused: Some Anvils Need To Be Dropped

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Deadlock Clock: Mar 18th 2017 at 11:59:00 PM
SoapheadChurch Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Jul 13th 2016 at 5:18:23 AM

Yo, everyone. Not sure if this has been brought up/resolved and if it has I apologize to the mods for making more work for them.

So from what I can tell from the description, Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped is supposed to be a trope for when the lack of subtlety of a work's overall message doesn't detract from or actually improves the quality of the work. However, I only ever see it being used for "the work had a good moral" or "the work has a moral that I agree with." I recognize that it is supposed to a subjective trope, but only subjective insofar as the quality of the work (and how the moral affects it) is. The quality of the moral isn't what the trope is about.

I feel like the name of the trope is part of the problem. It gives the impression that the point of the trope is that "X work had an important moral that needs to be put forth without subtlety." A new name ought to reflect that the quality of the work is at issue, not the quality of the "anvil."

The second issue: Is this trope even necessary? The idea is that this is when an Anvilicious work doesn't sacrifice quality for its message, but that just seems like a well-done Anvilicious work. Tropes Are Tools, after all.

SeptimusHeap from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Jan 6th 2017 at 4:37:46 AM

Opening and clocking.

Larkmarn Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
Jan 6th 2017 at 6:17:43 AM

I'd be down for cutting it entirely. It's a huge magnet for misuse, and "the work is anvilicious, but it's a good moral" distinct from anvilicious since by definition someone had to think it was a good moral or it wouldn't be in there. At best that would be a duplicate of Don't Shoot the Message, which... well, is still a duplicate.

But the actual definition "work is improved by being anvilicious" is so rarely used and the misuse is so common that a rename is the least we can do.

SeptimusHeap from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Jan 6th 2017 at 6:24:10 AM

12,661 inbounds will be a bar to renames never mind cutting.

Larkmarn Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
Jan 6th 2017 at 6:40:10 AM

So then what can we do? Change the definition to match the misuse? Clean up? Even the on-page examples are misuse, which is always a bad sign.

High inbounds to a broken-ass trope is not a good thing, in my eyes. It's more eyes on an embarrassment.

crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Jan 6th 2017 at 6:44:16 AM

I don't believe that the name contributes to the misuse. I think this trope is just Anvilicious but done well. While I like the concept, I'm not certain that it needs a separate page and even if it did, I don't believe examples assist in comprehending the trope.

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
Larkmarn Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
Jan 6th 2017 at 6:47:35 AM

I'd be down redirecting it to Anvilicious.

N1KF The Number1KirbyFan Relationship Status: Is that a kind of food?
The Number1KirbyFan
Jan 6th 2017 at 3:01:11 PM

I think this trope is just Anvilicious but done well.
I thought Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped was the complete opposite, being about morals given too subtly. If so, then a redirect to that trope would be kind of odd.

edited 6th Jan '17 3:01:20 PM by N1KF

Josef5678 Psshhh... from Virginia Relationship Status: Mu
Psshhh...
Jan 6th 2017 at 4:03:59 PM

I always interpreted the trope as meaning that the moral is not one commonly dealt with (or at least dealt with in a less conventional manner); i.e. "Someone has to say it", which is how I interpreted "Some anvils need to be dropped".

crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Jan 6th 2017 at 4:19:47 PM

[up] & [up][up] Those are varying (subjective) shades of 'but done well'.

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
WaterBlap Blapper of Water Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Blapper of Water
Jan 14th 2017 at 5:34:01 PM

I don't think it needs a new name. I think that the description focuses on Anvilicious in the first paragraph rather than on Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped, and that this leads to some level of confusion. The first paragraph alone makes the trope come off as Anvilicious but done effectively. Next thing the reader knows, this trope is that the anvil was done unambiguously in a particular historical context.

Going from the examples in the description, it looks like historical context does play a part in this as well. So, Uncle Tom's Cabin is not an example just because the anvil was "Slavery is bad" and that's important, but also because (1) slavery still existed and was strongly supported in parts of the country and (2) the anvil was unambiguous.

tl;dr: I think it's the description, not the name. Also, I don't think it's the same as Anvilicious but more specific. I think the historical context is or should be a requirement that makes it stand out from Anvilicious. It's not just that the author or the target audience agree with the anvil but "the times" or zeitgeist.

edited 14th Jan '17 5:39:01 PM by WaterBlap

[witty saying]
TropesForever This is an actual screenshot. from beyond the fourth wall
This is an actual screenshot.
Jan 14th 2017 at 6:23:48 PM

I don't like this page or Anvilicious. The only difference between the two is Anvilicious has more complaining. I think they should be merged into a neutral trope about unsubtle messages.

ME!? You want ME to be the director of your Christmas play?!
pokedude10 from Texas, but that should be obvious. Relationship Status: Not war
Jan 14th 2017 at 7:59:56 PM

Honestly, the name is fine. It's not perfect, but it's fine especially given the inbounds. I think there is a distinction between this and Anvilicious, but the description on this doesn't make it clear. This is how I see the difference:

  • Anvilicious: An intended moral is so heavy handed it's out of place in a work.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: An intended moral is heavy handed, but it is NOT out of place in a work. It drives the plot along and it's absence would be noticed.

Obviously, both are subjective. However maybe the best example of this trope I can think of off the top of my head is in Zootopia. The race/discrimination anvil is there, but it occurs naturally in the plot, is felt by the main characters, and viewers are told(Gazelle's line) and shown (the train discrimination scene) this is bad. Is it subtle, no. But is it effective and integrates into the plot, I think so.

Witty saying.
Adept from Online Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Jan 14th 2017 at 11:52:44 PM

[up]Put that way, the distinction between those two tropes is whether the integration of the morals are done well (Anvils Need To Be Dropped), or not (Anvilicious).

The thing is, nothing in the description of Anvilicious says that the moral depicted in the work have to be out of place from the rest of the story (since the paragraph that mentions that particular description begins with "Bonus points if...", so it's not the a necessary requirement), just that it's not presented subtly. In fact, the fact that the suffix of the name can be derived from either delicious or vicious kinda shows that the trope should be neutral.

Jan 15th 2017 at 12:12:18 AM

After skimming through the subpages, I noticed Anvilicious is also a huge Natter magnet.

SeptimusHeap from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Jan 15th 2017 at 1:42:32 AM

Anvilicious is simply heavy handed. To condense that to "done well" is a bit inexact.

SeptimusHeap MOD from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Feb 15th 2017 at 11:07:47 AM

I think there needs to be a better distinction between Anvilicious and Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped. Both tropes are about unsubtle aesops, however the former is used to complain about them while the latter is used to gush about them. As mentioned above I believe Anvilicious should be redefined to be about when the aesop feels shoehorned and out of place in the work while Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped should be about when the aesop feels natural and fits the work well.

Gosicrystal Relationship Status: Who needs love when you have waffles?
Feb 15th 2017 at 12:18:37 PM

Anvilicious is used to complain about unsubtle aesops while Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped is used to gush about them.

Anvilicious should be redefined to be about when the aesop feels shoehorned and out of place in the work while Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped should be about when the aesop feels natural and fits the work well.

That's a Distinction Without a Difference. Redefining like that would still make Anvilicious a complaining magnet and Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped a gushing magnet.

Also, has anyone done a Wick Check yet to show there is misuse?

edited 15th Feb '17 12:19:25 PM by Gosicrystal

Tell them, Naegi.
crazysamaritan Could we just... not have Death anymore? from Lupin III
Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Feb 15th 2017 at 1:11:57 PM

the aesop feels natural and fits the work well
That's another (subjective) shade of 'but done well'.

Link to TRS threads in project mode here.
SeptimusHeap MOD from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
WaterBlap Blapper of Water Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Blapper of Water
Mar 15th 2017 at 10:32:42 AM

I still think that Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped would work better including "historical context." I think that would effectively make it trivia, but it would preserve inbounds and make it distinct from Anvilicious. It looks like most people here, myself included, think of Anvilicious as being "heavy handed" or "done well" or something along those lines. So, keeping it YMMV.

I mean that the SANTBD article doesn't need to be YMMV if it has something objective like historical context of the work.

edited 15th Mar '17 10:34:14 AM by WaterBlap

[witty saying]
Larkmarn Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
Mar 15th 2017 at 11:23:20 AM

So like "Anvilicious but ultimately being on the right side of history"?

WaterBlap Blapper of Water Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Blapper of Water
Mar 15th 2017 at 11:24:10 AM

God no.

That would still be YMMV anyway. I meant more like the examples already in the description of Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped. "Slavery is bad," for example, could be an anvil made in America today, but since slavery isn't around in America anymore, it wouldn't be SANTBD.

edited 15th Mar '17 11:27:06 AM by WaterBlap

[witty saying]
Mar 15th 2017 at 12:16:30 PM

This trope is for when he message being heavy-handed works because IT NEEDED TO BE DELIVERED and coming down like a tone of bricks with no subtlety or mincing words drove the point home effectively.


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