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The criteria for Unintentionally Unsympathetic says:
"When a character's supposed insecurities or embarrassing quirks are supposed to inspire sympathy, but fail to impress the audience because they're mishandled or plain written badly. It can be made even worse if they have to learn a lesson. Without being at least somewhat invested in the characters, the audience might have passed the point of caring when the character finally comes around."
This is the basic criteria of the trope. There is more after but I am not sure what was present from the start and what was edited in afterwords to expand the definition. This trope is becoming more popular, with the page starting to be split-off into sub pages and such. And like all popular YMMV tropes this is causing an influx of bad examples that are probably just one-sided complaining, shoehorning, and bashing which is not in the spirit of this wiki. You can see this is causing issues just by looking at the pages discussion thread. I felt that the trope needed a dedicated cleanup thread. This way edits can be done without causing edit wars and getting people banned.
Some guidelines if a character or event is Unintentionally Unsympathetic.
1. It has to be unintentional on the authors part. It is in the title. All examples that were intentional on the author's part are disqualified by definition.
2. The example should state exactly why the author or narrative intended the subject to have been sympathetic and why it failed to resonate with the audience. If the example can not clearly state these two points, it is a bad example and needs to at minimum be rewritten.
3. Neutral tone: No insults. I know it is fun to complain about stuff but complaining is not in the spirit of the wiki. So long as one side isn't promoting hate speech examples should be written without taking a side. Examples that are heavily favoring one side or insulting the other side are probably not valid examples.
4. There should be a wide accepted disagreement between the audience and the author to be a valid example. By that I mean that there should be large consensus in the audience disagreeing with the author over why the character is unsympathetic instead of sympathetic. If the audience is too divided and one section thinks agrees with the author and the other doesn't, the example could be a pet peeve of a single person, which isn’t noteworthy.
Lastly, always consider Square Peg, Round Trope and be mindful if the example may fit better under a different trope such as Base-Breaking Character, Broken Base, and The Scrappy. Please visit other cleanup threads if you have questions about tropes that do not involve Unintentionally Unsympathetic.
Feel free to help if you spot some bad examples or can point out more rules for the trope. Or argue with me over the definitions, this is a cleanup thread after all.
Edited by DocJamore on Mar 9th 2021 at 11:10:06 AM
How about a rule against examples that are general or try to cram multiple examples into one bullet? Like this one from YMMV.Steven Universe:
I can add something about groups not being able to qualify. Other cleanup threads have came to that conclusion before. This is a wiki that whose job it is to lists things. Not just say "everyone counts so I won't list them but take my word for it."
Misinformation on nearly any trope on this site should be deleted under the Repair, Don't Respond policy. Unless it causes an edit war, in that case come here to the forums so we can sort it out without anyone getting banned.
Unintentionaly Sympathic seems to have been a "problem child" trope from the start since it is an "audience vs the author" trope which invites vitriol. And vitriol invites Complaining About Shows You Don't Like and Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch. Misinformation thrives in these kinds of environments.
Any more examples?
edited 23rd Feb '18 5:40:35 PM by DocJamore
Here's the rest of the examples from YMMV.Steven Universe:
I believe the Ronaldo example can be kept, though it should be rewritten a bit.
I also tried to put the "Too Far" section into its own example. How does this sound?
I haven't seen the show but your edits seem fine to me. Some of those examples definitely seem more like complaining by a Vocal Minority rather than being valid examples of the trope. They should be at least rewritten to be tone-neutral. And feel free to delete any examples fall under Intended Audience Reaction. The "unintentional" title exists for a reason.
I think at least for now this thread should tackle complaining until more people show interest in the thread.
edited 24th Feb '18 5:31:52 PM by DocJamore
There's a duplicated example in Informed Wrongness and Unintentionally Unsympathetic for Scrubs - the episode where Elliot goes into private practice.
The Janitor example can stay, in my opinion, because Characterization Marches On, and he was portrayed as a psycho on the early episodes (plus the episode mentioned deals with him being in love), but saying that "All the viewers see is Elliot acting like a jerk to others" sounds to me like bashing the character. Especially because the character is always super self-conscious and cries all the time, except in the episodes where she's just there so someone else can learn An Aesop. And adding another suspicious example from another show just makes it look like the writer has a problem with the actress.
If you believe that bashing is happening, go ahead and delete the example or rewrite it to be more neutral. An example that excessively takes one side seems to be an symptom of the trope being used as an excuse to complain.
Yeah, that Elliot example sounds like complaining to me.
In the Janitor example, my take wasn't so much that we're supposed to feel sympathy for him as we're supposed to think that Dr. Cox is an arse. Which he is.
From UnintentionallyUnsympathetic.Western Animation:
I see a case for Bolin being Unintentionally Sympathetic. Opal, she had warned him repeatedly, but I don't recall if she gave him tangible reason to distrust Kuvira, which would make her anger justifiable.
As written it sounds more like complaining about a previously sympathetic character being unsympathetic than this trope.
That entire post is downright misinformative. The whole post is just complaining and the last sentence is bashing. If I remember the the show right it is not just Opal who dislikes Kuvira, it is also her mom, family, and her whole hometown. It sounds like "How dare Bolin's girlfriend not support him working for the Big Bad! Lets put her on the UU page to bash her because that is allowed!"
Plus isn't she a minor character? "Bolin's girlfriend" basically sums her up. I think we should be cautious when in comes to making minor characters UU because it lets people spread misinformation like that and no one seems to care enough or know the source material well enough to check.
edited 7th May '18 8:08:32 AM by DocJamore
Someone added this to the Fire Emblem Fates page so I wanted to bring it up here.
"For many people" can be just a shorthand for "just me and my Vocal Minority". Other than that I am not sure. If all that is true, then it is an OK example. Is it true? I do not play the game but I have seen Fates repeatedly come up on other cleanup threads.
I've seen quite a bit of people express sympathy to the character since some of her dialogue with other playable characters do give a reason why she ended up the way she did. Obviously some people also don't sympathize with her even with that knowledge, but they always seemed like a Vocal Minority to me.
Cut. The entry mentions that Peri is a divisive character, so fans are too divided on the issue for her to qualify.
Yeah cut, the one who wrote this is obviously trying to relocate his complaining after ti was axed from the scrappy entry.
From YMMV.Archie Comics Sonic The Hedgehog:
Sally's a controversial enough character that it should include, or be limited to, specific examples. Hard to say if it's accurate otherwise.
If that's legitimate, it may fall under Broken Base or BBC better than UU since it is a series that has gone on for 20 years.
My recommendation for cases like that is it a "Major Enough Issue" to cause fan backlash at the author or narrative? Do many people think that, or its it the opinion of just the editor who added it there? And of course look through the edit history and see if the example was listed under the Scrappy Broken Base or something like that and got moved to UU after being rejected, like we had in the Fates example. If that is the case just nuke it.
edited 10th May '18 8:55:09 AM by DocJamore
I can't find any agenda from their edits, so keep for now.
I deleted the following from YMMV.Avengers Infinity War:
The last part suggests it's intentional, invalidating it. In fact, nothing suggests it's unintentional. He doesn't get any in-universe sympathy from the heroes for it does he?
I want to add this to Square Peg, Round Trope which I think sums up the misuse:
Star Lord's entry is a prime example of people using Unintentionally Unsympathetic for character bashing, even if the character isn't treated as sympathetic within the work.
From YMMV.My Little Pony Equestria Girls Forgotten Friendship:
The Trixie part didn't happen until after the Big Bad carried out their plan. And their anger isn't misplaced, it's due to jealousy of Sunset for having friends despite her sordid past while she remained ignored. Her rational that she thought Sunset hadn't really changed given how she treated her I'm not sure if it's treated as a mitigating factor, as she never views herself as a Well-Intentioned Extremist for it, and the harm caused is why she's the villain. We've previously cut the claim her being ignored was their own fault due to her erasing everyones memories of her as she was ignored before that and when she did't do so, leaving the self-inflicedness overly speculative.
I understand some seeing her as too Easily Forgiven, but as written the Unintentionally Unsympathetic entry is based on incorrect or contestable facts. Cut?
Any example that uses "a few fans" is probability not a legitimate example. If it it is not arguing for the sake of wanting a "spot" on the YMMV page to complain, than it is shoehorning in an example that only the editor has with the work.
Any example that has that kind of language should be rewritten or cut under the Repair, Don't Respond rule.
edited 14th May '18 7:27:45 AM by DocJamore
This was added back to YMMV.My Little Pony Equestria Girls Forgotten Friendship:
I deleted it because it fails to explain why it's unintentional. It needs an objective reason why her intended reasons for sympathy don't work (others have been through as bad or worse without becoming as bad, cruelty unconnected to intended mitigating factors, ex.) She supposed to be unsympathetic as the villain and gets anger from the heroes (Sunset to a fault) until Wallflower admits and shows regret about going too far. Should I add a note not to add her back without this threads approval?
Unintentionally Unsympathetic examples from Pokémon:
Mewtwo now violates Repair, Don't Respond, and they and Kyurem are villains because there actions are excessive and I don't belvice they're treated sympathetically for it (for Mewtwo, until they realize there wrongness and stop). Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres are also not treaded sympathetically admitted to not being an example at the time, making it seem more like Continuity Drift or Franchise Original Sin than this? Thoughts on removing?
I'll just remove it unless I hear back from anyone.
edited 23rd Jun '18 1:56:09 PM by Ferot_Dreadnaught
Bringing up this example from Fantastic Four (2005):
So it's been 8 days, any chance I could get a response to the example I brought up above.
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