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Unintentionally Unsympathetic Cleanup

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Klavice As if! from Pacific Canada Relationship Status: Hoping Senpai notices me
As if!
Nov 27th 2019 at 7:42:31 PM

I'm pretty sure we aren't meant to sympathize with Bart in the majority of Simpsons episodes where he is in the wrong. I can think of at least one episode where his selfishness is even worse than that, but if it has to stay it needs a rewrite.

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PlasmaPower Relationship Status: Cast away
Nov 27th 2019 at 11:29:49 PM

I put YMMV.The Simpsons S 10 E 8 Homer Simpsons In The Kidney Trouble on the cutlist because I think both of the items on the page are misuse. This is one of them:

  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Even with him more or less being tricked into donating his kidney by being lied to about the risks and taking it while he was unconscious, Homer still doesn't win much sympathy in this episode. Not only is he the direct cause of his father's kidney blowout due to his own stupidity, selfishness and Skewed Priorities, but he switches back between genuine remorse and refusing to accept responsibility and ran away twice after promising to donate them. It's also telling that even Bart and Dr. Hibbert are disgusted by his actions.

This one is just complaining about Homer's actions in the episode, methinks. Not to mention the calling out part probably means that it was intentional.

Edited by PlasmaPower on Nov 27th 2019 at 3:32:56 PM

Nov 28th 2019 at 2:45:43 PM

[up]called out mean not uninteintional. Cut.

Star Wars Resistance Reborn

  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Yama is only fifteen years old but she's still voluntarily serving a fascist organization that has invaded and conquered their world.
    • Poe's statement they need to forgive ex-Imperials of their crimes by drawing a false equivalence to his mutiny rubbed a lot of readers the wrong way.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The galaxy's full-on surrender to the First Order is meant to be disappointing but the Apathetic Citizens status of seemingly everyone makes them pass a Moral Event Horizon for most readers. Most don't seem remotely interested in putting up a fight against Space Nazis.

The first 2 are so poorly though out they’re under the wrong trope. None of them explain why/if they’re meant to be sympathetic despite this. Cut?

Nov 29th 2019 at 11:50:38 AM

YMMV.Sly Cooper Thieves In Time

  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: One or both of Sly and Carmelita. For those who side with Sly, Carmelita completely gives up on her relation to Sly, ignores all the good interactions she's had with him over the years, and starts hitting on his own ancestors in what charitably could be construed as an example of Operation: Jealousy. For those siding with Carmelita, Sly abrogates a promise he made both to Carmelita (tacitly) and to himself (explicitly) to go straight and experience life to the fullest with her, because he is bored, and then acts surprised when she doesn't take it well. Either way, both see a major reversion of their past Character Development, and a formerly-beloved couple comes out not smelling at all like roses.

Fails to explain why they were meant to be sympathetic. Sly as least isn't unintentional as that's why Carmelita is pissed at him. What do we do with this?

PlasmaPower Relationship Status: Cast away
Nov 29th 2019 at 2:50:46 PM

[up] I've never played that game so I don't know, I'd say cut it for now.

Wall of Text from YMMV.The Simpsons S 11 E 21 Its A Mad Mad Mad Mad Marge incoming:

  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Marge largely comes off as this throughout the episode. After her meddling in Becky's relationship with Otto causes him to leave her at the altar, she agrees after some (deserved) shaming from Homer to invite her to live in their home only for her to become jealous upon finding out the family likes her and she is somewhat more relatable to them than she is. Furthermore, after becoming paranoid due to listening to her sisters (who are always rife with good advice), she ends up arrested and sent to a mental institution after going berserk and attacking people in public (including the innocent workers at an ice cream shop, who weren't the target of her revenge.) Even with the police's idiocy, the family's insensitivity to her apparent plight (especially Homer), the infamous incident of Homer shooting a tranquilizer dart into her neck just because she asked him to do chores and her actually being right about Becky trying to steal the family from her (assuming if it wasn't sarcasm from Becky), her own inference and gullible nature which drives the plot doesn't exactly win her any compassion. She also casually mentions at one point that she conceals meat in Lisa's vegetarian meals for her to eat without her knowledge, not caring about how her daughter may react if she ever finds this out.

Nov 29th 2019 at 4:12:24 PM

[up]Again, fails to explain why she was supposed to be sympathetic despite this, cut. As Simpsons is a Sadist Show, they're supposed to be unsympathetic by default, so anything that doesn't explain how they're treated as sympathetic in-work in this moment can be safely axed.

PlasmaPower Relationship Status: Cast away
Nov 30th 2019 at 10:28:45 PM

  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Lisa, in the sense that she still likes Nelson and seeks to make him her boyfriend even after he brutalized Milhouse and sent him to the hospital. She doesn't even get mad at him, and is more upset when Nelson lies to her about pranking Skinner. It's kind of hard to take her interest in Nelson seriously when he almost murdered Milhouse because he misunderstood Lisa's note, since Nelson's behavior is blatantly homophobic. And even if it hadn't been, it was still Disproportionate Retribution.

I'm at an impass here, because I think there might be an good entry here, but it doesn't seem to explain why she was meant to be seen as sympathetic.

Like maybe, it could start with "Lisa is supposed to be seen as someone who sees the good in people, since she wasn't mad at Nelson when he beat up Nelson since he misunderstood the note. However, she got more upset with Nelson over lying to her about pranking Skinner than him beating up Milhouse. The fact that she got mad at him over a intended hate-crime makes her look bad to the audience."

Edited by PlasmaPower on Nov 30th 2019 at 2:32:43 PM

PlasmaPower Relationship Status: Cast away
Dec 2nd 2019 at 12:57:24 AM

This fails to explain how they were supposed to be sympathetic. Is there a better entry from the episode it came from to replace this with or should it be cut?

Also, I love how whoever wrote this called them out on their Disproportionate Retribution... only for the last paragraph to call for exactly that.

On the side note, what do you guys think about a 6 waiting period for Unintentionally Unsympathetic? It can help determine if most of the audience is unsympathetic to a character or if they belong in Base-Breaking Character. It’s also one of those reactions that can cause knee-jerk complaining.

Edited by PlasmaPower on Dec 2nd 2019 at 5:33:21 AM

MasterN The Plasma King from Florida- I mean Unova Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
The Plasma King
Dec 2nd 2019 at 8:25:27 AM

First time here. So, I noticed that a lot of examples were cut because they are villains. But are sympathetic villains not a thing? I mean, it seems ridiculous to cut an example because they are a villain, because villains can be intended as sympathetic and still fail because they go way too far. Not trying to argue here, just would like some clarification as to whether a villain can count as this. Hell, there is even an entire paragraph on the main page explaining how a villain can fall into this trope.

One of these days, all of you will accept me as your supreme overlord.
WarJay77 Daily reminder to drink water. from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Daily reminder to drink water.
Dec 2nd 2019 at 9:14:51 AM

It's still got to be proven the character was intended to be sympathetic.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
PlasmaPower Relationship Status: Cast away
Dec 2nd 2019 at 5:07:55 PM

[up][up] A good example of an Unintentionally Unsympathetic villain from top of my head an is the In Name Only Beast Boy from The End of Ends. There, the author tries to make us pity him because apparently the whole world's turned against him and Terra dumped him, but in turn he did things like beat up Terra's friends, stole a book which made him into Count Logan, and then he destroyed planets because of his Wangst.

Oh yea, another question, how come Unintentionally Unsympathetic characters aren't scrappies by default? (unless they've been mangled in the adaptation process, then they're not scrappies) They do seem kind of interchangeable with one another.

Edited by PlasmaPower on Dec 2nd 2019 at 9:31:34 AM

Dec 2nd 2019 at 9:50:18 PM

[up]They can be Base-Breaking Characters as opposed to Scrappies if some don't mind/overlook what make them UU and understands what they were meant to be. A waiting period seems less the problem than reminding that they have to be unsympathetic for different reasons than intended.

nrjxll Relationship Status: Not war
Dec 3rd 2019 at 4:37:55 AM

Also, I think Unintentionally Unsympathetic covers things like, say, where people don't find a villain's Freudian Excuse convincing when it was meant to be, but still like them as a villain overall.

Edited by nrjxll on Dec 3rd 2019 at 6:38:15 AM

Dec 6th 2019 at 4:49:39 PM

Here's an entry under the game Simulacra that I'd like to get feedback for. Minor Spoilers:

  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Taylor makes it a little hard to sympathize with since there are a few points where he asks the player to send pictures of Anna to him in exchange for helping.

So I was ready to remove this, since I'm pretty sure the player is meant to see him as creepy. He does creepy things like that multiple times, and if I'm remembering correctly, you can even express to other characters that you find him creepy.

On the path I took, even in his last conversation with the player, where he guilt trips you for not supporting him more, you are still given the option to treat him with disdain. But then the game guilt-trips you for not supporting him more to gain his trust, and I guess you're supposed to feel bad for him, since a Bad Thing happens to him.

My assumption is that the game is going for "Yeah, he's a creep, but he doesn't deserve this". There's some entries on the YMMV page that are more sympathetic to him, but I don't really see it. My question is, is that enough to qualify him for Unintentionally Unsympathetic. As it reads, the entry is a little ZCE-y since it doesn't specify why we're supposed to sympathize with him.

Edited by MisterApes-a-lot on Dec 6th 2019 at 4:51:57 AM

WarJay77 Daily reminder to drink water. from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Daily reminder to drink water.
Dec 6th 2019 at 6:26:46 PM

[up] I agree. That's not enough context, if he is meant to be sympathetic.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
Dec 7th 2019 at 1:19:38 PM

Do we have an effortpost template for this? There is one character, or rather one event featuring a character that I want to propose.

There’s also a faction from a video game(not from the same work) I might want to propose too.

Edited by xie323 on Dec 7th 2019 at 1:23:45 AM

WarJay77 Daily reminder to drink water. from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Daily reminder to drink water.
Dec 7th 2019 at 1:21:18 PM

[up] No EP system here. Go ahead and tell us about your character, or draft an example.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
Dec 7th 2019 at 2:34:55 PM

(ignore this, turns out I misinterpreted the trope so I deleted this EP)

Edited by xie323 on Dec 7th 2019 at 2:52:58 AM

Dec 8th 2019 at 9:48:06 AM

Ok so here is the character I want to discuss, this is a bit different than the EP I had to delete.

Would Uther the Lightbringer from Warcraft be seen as unintentionally unsympathetic for his refusal to kill innocent but potentially plague infested civilians in Stratholme? In that scene I think you're supposed to side with Uther and see it as the start of Arthas' fall to darkness, but given the fact that as of the current era in Warcraft lore, there hasn't been a cure for the plague or an alternative that was even considered by Uther and Jaina at that time, many players come out of that feeling that Uther was excessively naieve while Arthas did what had to be done.

Edited by xie323 on Dec 8th 2019 at 9:53:27 AM

MasterN The Plasma King from Florida- I mean Unova Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
The Plasma King
Dec 9th 2019 at 9:48:29 PM

As someone who does kinda feel bad for Taylor, I can vouch for the portrayal of him as a creep who does not deserve what he goes through.

And yeah, Count Logan was EXACTLY who I was thinking of when I wrote that response. He is supposed to be the villain, but also a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds like Count Bleck (whom he is ripping off based on). Even though he is a villain, we ARE supposed to feel sorry for him. The issue is that he is not Affably Evil like Bleck, but more actively cruel and prone to Kick the Dog, his backstory feels like Wangst, and he gets Easily Forgiven.

One of these days, all of you will accept me as your supreme overlord.
Acebrock from So-Cal Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Dec 10th 2019 at 3:24:18 AM

I'm really not feeling these US/UU entries on Ymmv.The Dragon Prince (I am familiar with the series but not the fandom). They seem like they were written by someone rooting for the humans in general and the villain in particular (I apologize for the formatting. I'm on tablet and formatting and copy/pasting is a pain on it):

  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • The humans in the conflict against the elves. Despite the Grey and Gray Morality, viewers believe that the humans were the ones that got screwed, since one of them figured out Dark Magic, their entire race was taken off their lands in the worst display of Fantastic Racism, so to a degree, the humans actions come off as rightful retaliation very often. Given that the human removal has been compared to the Trail of Tears by the writers, however, it's likely this wasn't as unintentional as it seems. Subverted as of the opening of Season 3, which shows that the Season 1 opening was a highly selective portrayal of the backstory. When we see the whole story, Zaird, the first dark mage, is portrayed much more sympathetically than Sol Regem.
    • Even in season 2, Viren still has supporters, despite having become the villain, since he is still the only one trying to do something to protect the humans and take back their original lands.
    • Claudia's murder of a baby deer for use as fuel in black magic in season 2 seems to be intended as a Moral Event Horizon, but many have argued it's really not different from using animals as food. However, the end of season three flips this on its head, having her literally resurrect Viren after supporting him through his own Moral Event Horizon throughout the season
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • The elves of Xadia as a whole. While the conflict is painted as Grey and Gray Morality, it really seems that the elves were the worst ones of the duo. Once Dark Magic is invented, they perform a full ethnic cleansing of their country and kick the humans out of the land where they live in to another kingdom entirely, then send assassins after the Dragon King has been killed in a war, even though at that point, the humans were just trying to get what was rightfully theirs.
    • King Harrow comes off as this in "Moonrise", when he gives Viren a "The Reason You Suck" Speech that many see as uncalled for, considering that, for all the "creative solutions" that Viren had taken, Harrow is implied to have taken part in many of them, so it comes off as deflecting the guilt and trying to blame Viren, someone who had stand by his side all along and is implied to have been willing to pull a Heroic Sacrifice to save his life. Harrow's refusal to sacrifice one of his guards by having them become a decoy via magic, yet putting all of his guards at risk of death since they're standing between him and the Moonshadow assassins, is also seen as hypocritical. If he thought that being killed was fitting punishment for his own assassination of the dragon king, Harrow could've just walked outside and waited for the assassins instead of letting dozens of guards die alongside him. Even with the flashback detailing it in season 3 and showing he's not wrong to be angry with Viren, his callous treatment of someone he views as a friend can still make him this.
    • There’s also the matter of Harrow being willing to condemn thousands of his own people to death by starvation in order to make a grand gesture of friendship to the Queens of Duren. The viewer is clearly supposed to see this as a noble act, but Harrow was condemning people who trusted him with their welfare to a horrible death without consulting them. It would have been one thing if Katolis had had enough extra food to offer aid while also keeping its own people alive through rationing, but as Viren notes, the net loss of life would have been exactly the same. Also bear in mind that Harrow’s own family would probably not have been in any danger of starving, so he’s asking others to die so that he can feel like he’s done the right thing. If he’d actually gone through with this plan, then there's a decent chance that his castle would have been besieged by hungry peasants with torches and pitchforks.
    • Soren can be a bit hard to feel bad for when he gets paralyzed. While his good-natured bickering with his sister can charming, Soren is a bully who carries out his father's wishes, despite his clear misgivings at his fathers more dubious actions, balking only a little at the idea of killing the princes. Being paralyzed and the epiphany he gets has him become a better person, which grows throughout season 3.

The reasons are numerous:

On us

First bulletpoint on US

  • First, the humans weren't kicked off half the continent out of fantastic racism but because the elves rejected dark magic on account of it involving killing a being (anything from an insect to a golem depending on the strength needed) to make it work, which seems like a good reason to strongly object. It's not like the elves woke up one day and decided to drive out the humans out of simple racism.
  • Also, if, as the example on the first bulletproof implies, they were meant to be sympathetic, then it's not an example, now is it?

Second bullet point on US:

  • Doesn't explain why he's not meant to be sympathetic (Side note: the elves weren't really attacking the humans at any point in season two, the only aggression was the assassination in season one, and being attacked in season three. The Dragon may count, though, even if it was attacked first, as it was buzzing the town)
  • I really don't like the whole take back their land thing in general. Humans haven't lived there in a millenium.

Third bullet point:

  • I can't fully object, because it's really my own opinion that it still works as a MEH and it is ymmv. Of course I don't know how the majority of fans saw it, so...


First bullet point

  • First half is a bit biased but I can't object too harshly beyond saying it's a bit more complicated
  • Second half begs the question why does trying to assassinate the man who killed your king (who only has a child once every few centuries and whose only egg was presumed destroyed) and defend your lands (a back and forth that has been going on for centuries at this point) make you unsympathetic? Should they have sat back and taken it? That makes little sense to me.

Second bullet point:

  • The scene in question strikes me as a crisis of conscience slash my God what have I done moment and a statement that dying that night would be something of a redemption. I've also seen enough similar scenes that didn't have the king become Unintentionally Unsympathetic to make me think this a rather arbitrary call.
  • Also, would anyone allow the king to just walk out and die to assassins?
  • Btw, he needed to buy time for his kids to escape as well.

Third bullet point:

  • I really don't like this one. strengthening international relations and compassion for others outside of your borders makes one unsympathetic? seems like a reach meant to make him sound bad. Side note: international relations are a bitch.

Fourth bullet point:

  • Soren wasn't really meant to come off as sympathetic in this regard, at least by my watching, so not an example.I

Agree? D Isagree? Over thinking it? Let this thread decide!

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
nrjxll Relationship Status: Not war
Dec 10th 2019 at 4:04:55 AM

Speaking generally it seems like whoever wrote those entries is weirdly certain the elves/Xadia are meant to be A Lighter Shade of Gray, in a way I don't think the series actually supports.

Gault Laugh and grow dank! from beyond the kingdom Relationship Status: P.S. I love you
Laugh and grow dank!
Dec 11th 2019 at 5:23:11 PM

The reason why people are given to sympathize with Humanity- and, conversely, why the Elves come across as comparatively unsympathetic- is because The Dragon Prince has some rather ambitious themes, and it handles them rather poorly. The position that the show takes towards the conflict between Xadia and the Human kingdoms is one that is broadly favorable towards Xadia, but the actual writing fails to justify this position. This creates a dissonance that lends heavily towards a sympathy for the show's ostensible villains.

The best example of this dissonance is the fact that who the heroes and villains turn out to be at the end of the latest season is a product of Moral Luck, and yet the show's writing still treats the situation as if it were a genuine, earned thematic resolution. It isn't. Both sets of characters have access to the same information, and neither of them know beforehand which of them actually has the right of it. The only reason Callum and friends are in a position to think of themselves as heroes when all is said and done is because they won the coin toss.

Edited by Gault on Dec 11th 2019 at 9:32:06 PM

PlasmaPower Relationship Status: Cast away
Dec 11th 2019 at 7:27:30 PM

I don't know, one of Veiren end goal was to kill the kids so he could take over as king. And that was in season one. And one was still a kid.

Edited by WhirlRX on Dec 11th 2019 at 10:28:04 AM

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