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ILikeRobots Aspirant Creativity Wizard from the worlds of my imagination Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Aspirant Creativity Wizard
Sep 1st 2019 at 2:26:32 PM

We've had two previous ATT threads talking about the foil trope, and misuse that's gone on with it.

I kinda proposed starting a cleanup thread for it in the older of the two threads, and since the term itself is already existent and well-defined, we determined we don't need to worry about a TRS thread for it.

This is the thread for us to talk about and fix misuse of the trope. It was brought up in the previous thread that some of the subtropes listed under foil might be misuse as well, so we can talk about that too.

What's a foil?

Traditionally, a literary foil is a character with contrasting character traits to another character (normally the protagonist, but this isn't a requirement). They're brought in, interact with the other character, and through their contrast, end up highlighting/emphasizing certain traits of the other character.

The foil page itself uses the example of a hero and their sidekick (Don Quixote and his sidekick Sancho, to be specific) with contrasting traits.

In the ATT threads, the following was discussed:

  • Points of Discussion:
    • Foils must interact with one another. Characters with contrasting traits from different installments in the same series that don't interact don't count as foils. Without the requirement of interaction, the trope becomes "characters with contrasting traits exist," which is People Sit on Chairs.
    • Characters with similar traits or roles, but taking opposite paths in the plot, don't count as foils. Foil is primarily a characterization trope. The newer ATT thread had a proposition to create a separate trope to move the foil misuse about plot roles there. Here's the TLP draft for that proposed trope.
    • The characters must have contrasting traits. "These characters are very similar, but aren't exactly the same" doesn't a foil make.
    • Is there a specific subtrope of foil that can be used and applies instead of foil? If so, move the example to the specific subtrope instead of listing it under foil.

Edited by ILikeRobots on Sep 1st 2019 at 8:08:24 AM

possesses the major Crest of sleepiness
WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Sep 1st 2019 at 2:26:59 PM

Great, let's do this.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
Lermis Purposefully untitled from Out of touch with reality Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Purposefully untitled
Sep 1st 2019 at 2:34:31 PM

Let's start with the Foil.Persona 5 thread and move on from there. I'll go create those TLP threads now (one for Foil misuse and one for Expy misuse).

Common ways in which Foil is misused and the new trope will cover:

  • Characters may belong in the same setting but they do not necessarily interact with each other.
  • Characters have very similar backstories and/or characteristics but have very different behaviors and reactions.
  • Feel free to add anything you've noticed.

Edited by Lermis on Sep 1st 2019 at 12:37:36 PM

I think most my edits are me adding the proper numbers of - to quotes.
ILikeRobots Aspirant Creativity Wizard from the worlds of my imagination Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Aspirant Creativity Wizard
Sep 1st 2019 at 2:56:42 PM

[up] I don't know if the first bullet is a tropeworthy thing at all, since "opposite characters exist in the same universe" isn't really a narrative pattern or mean anything.

The second, involving backstories and different paths in the plot, I can see having significance in a different trope.

For Persona 5, I'm not fully familiar with the work, but a lot of the entries are written with "this character is different from this character" instead of bringing up how and when they interact and how these traits emphasize their characterization.


Here's a question. Can foil even be given inversions? If so, does this count as an inversion? From Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Golden Deer:

  • Foil:
    • Inverted with Ferdinand, to the point where the two border on Static Role, Exchangeable Character. Ferdinand and Lorenz are both sons of dukes, who take extreme pride in their status as noble but also see a huge responsibility in living up to the ideals. In both cases their view on nobility can rub other students the wrong way. Both of them see themselves are rivals to their house leader, and come to learn and respect the house leader in question in their respective support. In both cases the house leader is rather dismissive of the rivalry, treating it more as annoyances. Both of them have fathers who are much less honorable than them, and who undermine their faction heads. Both sons, while proud of their lineage, view their father's actions poorly and seek to do better. Lastly both are tea aficionados. Interestingly the game does indirectly acknowledge this as while most students support conversations with each other has them slowly come to learn, respect and understand each other, Ferdinand and Lorenz' involves them immediately hitting it off and getting perfectly along due to their shared views and interests and thus just enjoying each other's company. The main point of divergence is that Ferdinand starts off more likable, and is more obsessed with training and self-improvement, while Lorenz' interest is more womanizing. However, their fathers have different fates, as Duke Aegir is killed by those that believe he abused them, while Duke Gloucester can bury the hatchet with House Riegan.

Edited by ILikeRobots on Sep 1st 2019 at 2:58:37 AM

possesses the major Crest of sleepiness
Lermis Purposefully untitled from Out of touch with reality Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Purposefully untitled
Sep 1st 2019 at 3:04:17 PM

That's the point. Foil has been misused so that characters who do not interact with each other are still slapped with this trope. The reason I'm restricting this to "coming from the same franchise" is because we'd end up with a Counterpart Comparison situation again, and everyone would start comparing characters from different works for the slightest of similarity and difference. I'm just putting this here to show the others were to put the wrong examples. I'll post the link to the thread here once I'm done writing it.

Seriously, I'm new to this so anything you have to say, I'll accept it. I'm just trying to help here. I'm kinda bummed cause I misused the trope to hell and back.

I think most my edits are me adding the proper numbers of - to quotes.
ILikeRobots Aspirant Creativity Wizard from the worlds of my imagination Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Aspirant Creativity Wizard
Sep 1st 2019 at 3:10:47 PM

[up] Don't worry. A lot of us have in the past have misunderstood and misused tropes until it was called to our attention/we learned. Don't feel bad.

I might have misunderstood your post, but from what you said:

Common ways in which Foil is misused and the new trope will cover:
Characters may belong in the same setting but they do not necessarily interact with each other.

From what I read, seems like you're saying the new proposed trope will cover examples of "opposite characters in the same setting that don't interact," which I'm arguing isn't tropeworthy at all. I agree with you on characters from different works entirely not counting for the trope as well.

Edited by ILikeRobots on Sep 1st 2019 at 3:11:44 AM

possesses the major Crest of sleepiness
WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Sep 1st 2019 at 3:20:27 PM

Yeah, I'd agree with "characters who never interact just happen to be different" isn't a trope, more than it is, just... something that happens.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
Lermis Purposefully untitled from Out of touch with reality Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Purposefully untitled
Sep 1st 2019 at 3:21:17 PM

I meant characters that not necessarily interact but still might do so, have near identical backstories and/or traits but their Character Development between the two is very different, ending up highlighting the difference.

I'm writing the draft right now, I'll post the link here once I'm done with it. I'm adding examples now. Hopefully it'll help make things clearer, and help the other tropers understand how they've been misusing Foil.

I'll make a similar thread for Expy misuses afterwards, but this is not the thread to discuss this.

By the way, Inverted foil? No, that won't work. Foil goes both ways, you can't invert it.

I think most my edits are me adding the proper numbers of - to quotes.
WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Sep 1st 2019 at 3:23:21 PM

Yes, I agree that foil can't be inverted. I genuinely don't understand how that would even work.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
ILikeRobots Aspirant Creativity Wizard from the worlds of my imagination Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Aspirant Creativity Wizard
Sep 1st 2019 at 3:38:56 PM

[up] and [up] x2 Yeah, I was a bit iffy on it from the beginning. Glad I'm not the only one. I've cut it and put an edit reason linking this thread.

Edited by ILikeRobots on Sep 1st 2019 at 3:39:09 AM

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Lermis Purposefully untitled from Out of touch with reality Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Purposefully untitled
Sep 1st 2019 at 6:16:54 PM

Here is the TLP thread. The proposed trope's name is Same Backstory, Different Behavior. Any potentially misused Foil tropes will be examined by this thread.

I think most my edits are me adding the proper numbers of - to quotes.
WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Sep 1st 2019 at 6:18:56 PM

So one of my biggest concerns was that the list of "foil tropes" seems shoehorny, as a lot of the tropes (especially the duo tropes) are more about "contrasting character duo".

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
ILikeRobots Aspirant Creativity Wizard from the worlds of my imagination Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Aspirant Creativity Wizard
Sep 1st 2019 at 6:51:02 PM

[up] I agree. The "single characters that are commonly foils" section feels awkward, since if we're just listing character types that might foil others with no context on how they could fit the trope, we'd have to list every character trope, and that's rampant Trope Decay. Some of these duos could be foils, but just listing contrasting character types isn't what the trope is. Maybe the general examples can be clarified as to how they interact and foil one another.

Some of the examples start to do this, but they're not fleshed out enough. For example, maybe something like:

  • Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick: A hero's sidekick constantly implores the hero to be more altruistic and treat civilians with kindness, while the hero scoffs at his sidekick's bleeding heart and naive attitude. Through their interactions, the hero's jerkass traits are emphasized, while the sidekick's kind traits are emphasized.

Includes them interacting, an explanation of contrasting traits, and what characterization is emphasized.

possesses the major Crest of sleepiness
WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Sep 1st 2019 at 6:54:58 PM

[up] Yes, exactly.

Tonight I'll try and go through the list and add my thoughts on every trope mentioned, so look out for that.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
ILikeRobots Aspirant Creativity Wizard from the worlds of my imagination Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Aspirant Creativity Wizard
Sep 1st 2019 at 6:59:57 PM

[up] Sounds good! Looking forward to it. [tup]

possesses the major Crest of sleepiness
Lermis Purposefully untitled from Out of touch with reality Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Purposefully untitled
Sep 2nd 2019 at 1:37:58 AM

Hm...

I think most my edits are me adding the proper numbers of - to quotes.
WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Sep 2nd 2019 at 1:47:17 AM

I forgot about this in the midst of making a new work page. My post will be tomorrow instead. I gotta sleep.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
ILikeRobots Aspirant Creativity Wizard from the worlds of my imagination Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Aspirant Creativity Wizard
Sep 2nd 2019 at 8:14:31 AM

[up] No worries.

[up] x2 The main description does have a section that points out that foils often have contrasting appearances, but just the appearance alone doesn't make the trope. Something like Huge Guy, Tiny Girl could be a pair of foils, but it needs context as to how the characters' personalities contrast and emphasize each other.

I don't see how the appearance tropes stand on their own as foil subtropes, really, since a contrasting appearance doesn't immediately mean contrasting and foiling personalities.

Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick already contains contrasting personalities, so it fits the trope with a little explanation.

A Boy and His X is also not about contrasting personalities on its own, but just a close companionship between a person and some sort of pet or creature.

Henpecked Husband could work, given an explanation that the wife's overbearing, strict attitude emphasizes the husband's meek, shy personality.

possesses the major Crest of sleepiness
Lermis Purposefully untitled from Out of touch with reality Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Purposefully untitled
Sep 2nd 2019 at 9:57:59 AM

I was thinking potential tropes so yeah.

I think most my edits are me adding the proper numbers of - to quotes.
GoldenCityBird Alcott Grimsley, detective of the deceased from the UK
Alcott Grimsley, detective of the deceased
Sep 2nd 2019 at 10:02:54 AM

Foil.Danganronpa V 3 Killing Harmony, while smaller than P5's page, is probably full of misuse too - only one of the folders covers characters who interact within the main game, with the rest being characters from within the franchise. While a side mode, Ultimate Talent Development Plan, has characters from the other games interact, I don't know what to do in that situation, as it isn't canon.

Edited by GoldenCityBird on Sep 2nd 2019 at 6:05:43 PM

Seriously, check out The World in Deeper Inspection.
ILikeRobots Aspirant Creativity Wizard from the worlds of my imagination Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Aspirant Creativity Wizard
Sep 2nd 2019 at 11:32:52 AM

[up] Just looked it over, and yeah, it's rife with "these characters are opposites" with little to nothing about when and if they interact, and "[character] might be this to [character]," which violates Examples Are Not Arguable.

I'm not familiar with the work. Can some of these be made legitimate examples by mentioning how they interact and what characterization is emphasized? Some of these also look like they can be migrated to Same Backstory, Different Behavior when it's finished and launched as well.

As for scenes that aren't necessarily canon, I think it's okay to include them in writeups if there are legitimate foil examples. Fire Emblem's support conversations are generally independent of the main story, and in a lot of cases can't all be canon within the same run of the game since they they affect the endings characters get, but they're still important and many of the foil examples come from support conversations.

Edited by ILikeRobots on Sep 2nd 2019 at 11:33:47 AM

possesses the major Crest of sleepiness
WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Sep 2nd 2019 at 11:32:59 AM

Common Foils, with my commentary and critique, starting with the Standalone Characters:

    Standalone characters with bolded reactions 
  • Aloof Big Brother- How so? Do they bring out the inexperience and failings of their sibling?
  • Always Second Best- Again, is this just... winner makes loser look more like a loser?
  • Always Someone Better: Anything a character can do, another can do better. Doesn't sound like a foil to me.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling- Do they make their sibling seem...less annoying? I don't get it.
  • The Anti-God- I get this one, they're so opposite that they bring out the goodness and purity of God.
  • Anti-Role Model- Brings out the role-model-y-ess of the other. I can see it.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Big Bad is the The Hero's main enemy and opposite. Okay, an Arch-Enemy can be a foil, but this could use more explanation.
  • Big Good: The antithesis of the Big Bad. Same here.
  • Black Sheep: Makes the qualities of the rest of their family stand out by non-conforming. That works.
  • Bromantic Foil: It's in the name, so obviously it fits. It's intended to be a foil.
  • Classic Villain: Represents opposing qualities to the heroes in order to be a foil, like in Disney films. Okay.
  • Commander Contrarian: I guess, maybe, this makes sense? The character exists to argue, which...if I squint, I get it, but not really.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Do foils have to be in the same work? I'm not sure how the contrast can really work otherwise.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Where a new protagonist's personality is different from the previous protagonist. Same here. I get it, but I'm not 100% sure it works. I guess it's not always a foil, so...
  • Cowardly Sidekick: Shows how brave the hero is. Works.
  • Deliberately Bad Example: They exist to make others look better by comparison. Yes.
  • Evil Counterpart: The evil version of a good character. I mean, pretty basic one here. They have similar traits to the hero, but as a darker version of themselves, showing what really makes the hero good.
  • Evil Counterpart Race: Same, but with races.
  • Evil Duo: Should't this be under duos? Basically a pair of contrasting villains, and as they fight you see their differences.
  • Evil Knockoff: Literal evil version of the hero, so it works for the same reason as Evil Counterpart.
  • Evil Twin: Evil twin shows good twin's goodness.
  • Fan of Underdog: I don't get this one. Dunno why this one is here.
  • Future Foil: The character's future self is different from the character's present self. I mean, yeah.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Again, don't really get this one.
  • The Imp: A vice-heavy character that could be a side-kick, so I guess as a sidekick they'd be a foil to whoever they're with.
  • Junior Counterpart: Their inexperience and youth highlights the hero's experience and age.
  • The Lancer: The Hero (or) The Leader's second-in-commander who is different from the hero. Yes, lancers are inherently there to be foils.
  • Literal Split Personality: I guess one personally could highlight the traits of the other?
  • Mentors: Literally just the Mentor Index. I mean...I guess?
  • Morality Pet: Hmmm...the Morality Pet is the character that humanizes an anti-hero or villain. They're meant to show they have a soft side, not to highlight what makes them evil...
  • Nemesis Weapon: The weapon of the enemy contrasts the heroes, which can be a visual foil.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: They're there to relieve tension and crack jokes, so I guess when paired with cynical and serious characters...
  • The Psycho Rangers: An evil counterpart of the hero's team. Good.
  • Cowardly Sidekick: This is here twice for some reason. Still fine.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Makes the character's... humanness pop out? Huh?
  • Older Sidekick: Shows off the experience and youth of the hero.
  • Psycho Sidekick: Shows off the morality of the hero.
  • Privileged Rival: The rival is more privileged than the lower-class hero. Highlights the hero's poor standing in life.
  • The Rival: The antagonistic foil of the hero who is not the Big Bad. Rivals do tend to be great foils. Same goal but different attitude and methods.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Where the rival becomes more antagonistic towards the hero. I mean, the rival would still be a foil so...I guess?
  • Rebellious Rebel: Don't get this one.
  • Shadow Archetype: The character who possesses a trait the hero hates about himself. Yes, absolutely a foil.
  • Sidekick: As established, sidekicks do make good foils.
  • Straight Man: Their serious and dry-ness highlights the traits of the comic.
  • Straw Loser: Loser looks bad to make others look better.
  • Talking Appliance Sidekick: ?
  • Token Evil Teammate: Shows how good the rest of their team is.
  • A "True" Hero: One person or group proves themselves more worthy of the title "hero" than others. I guess that works.
  • Stock Shōnen Rival: A type of rival who is stoic and standoffish in contrast to the Stock Shōnen Hero. Makes sense.
  • Token Good Teammate: Shows how evil their team is.
  • White Sheep: Shows how bad their family is.
  • Worthy Opponent: When an antagonistic foil shows regards for the character's abilities. Dunno if this really belongs here.

My take: Most of these tropes do belong here as they do make great foil characters. Others are a serious stretch.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread
GoldenCityBird Alcott Grimsley, detective of the deceased from the UK
Alcott Grimsley, detective of the deceased
Sep 2nd 2019 at 11:42:07 AM

[up][up] Yeah, I feel that some of these could be examples with proper context. There's a lot to look through, though, so I doubt I can do it all today.

Edited by GoldenCityBird on Sep 2nd 2019 at 7:43:52 PM

Seriously, check out The World in Deeper Inspection.
ILikeRobots Aspirant Creativity Wizard from the worlds of my imagination Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Aspirant Creativity Wizard
Sep 2nd 2019 at 1:21:02 PM

[up] No worries. You don't need to scrub through the entire page all at once. Work at your own pace. The important thing is that we're thorough and it gets all cleaned up.

[up] x2 Good analysis. I agree with pretty much all of it. I've gone through and pulled a bunch of subtropes that feel shoehorned and could be pruned or edited on the page with my thoughts after them:

    Subtropes that don't fit 
  • Aloof Big Brother: Doesn't have any information about the characterization of the younger sibling contrasting or being highlighted by the older brother’s aloofness. Cut.
  • Always Second Best: This trope is about someone who's never the best at something, and doesn't even involve a contrasting personality to bounce off of. Cut.
  • Always Someone Better: This is about constant one-upmanship, not contrasting personalities emphasizing each others' traits. Cut.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: "Character is often annoyed by their younger sibling" doesn't emphasize any contrasting personality traits. Any sort of "opposite sibling personality" foils would go under Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling or Sibling Yin-Yang (provided there was interaction). Cut.
  • Commander Contrarian: Eh...so he's a contrarian, but who is he contrasting with? How does his contrarian personality emphasize characterization in other characters? Leaning toward cut, or expand the description on exactly who he's foiling.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Foils have to interact, or else they don't count as examples. Unless the previous antagonist shows up in the later installment to interact with the later antagonist, it's not an example. Could be rewritten in the description like, "Keep in mind, foils must interact with one another in order to emphasize each other's traits: If you've got a bad guy later in the series who's the opposite of a villain from earlier on but they never meet, you've got a Contrasting Sequel Antagonist instead." Cut and rework into description.
  • Contrasting Sequel Protagonist: Fails the "must interact" criteria. Could also be added into the description: "If you've got a hero from later in the series who's the opposite of a hero from earlier on, but there's no interaction between them, they're a Contrasting Sequel Protagonist instead." Cut and rework into description.
  • Fan of the Underdog: Doesn't even have the pretense of contrasting personalities interacting. Cut.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Not a contrasting personality with anything. Cut.
  • Mentors: Linking to an entire index is bad form, plus it's way too general. Any foil examples of experienced, aged character and young, naive character would go under Older Sidekick or Junior Counterpart. Cut.
  • Morality Pet: This trope is about an antagonistic or villainous person having a soft side for a certain person that tempers them from becoming completely monstrous. Morality pets don't even have to have contrasting character traits to the the person they're an MP for. Any examples of "good person/evil person" foils are already covered by several other tropes. Cut.
  • Nemesis Weapon: This strikes me as a potential feature of an Arch-Enemy or Evil Counterpart, not a foil trope in and of itself, since "villain has a dark version of the hero's weapon" doesn't automatically a foil make. Cut.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: A sidekick's species has nothing to do with them having a contrasting personality to the hero. Cut.
  • Rebellious Rebel: This is a character who rebels against a rebellious faction...and there's nothing about them contrasting or interacting with an opposite personality. Cut.
  • Talking Appliance Sidekick: What does the sidekick being a talking inanimate object have to do with contrasting characterization and interaction? Cut.
  • Worthy Opponent: An antagonist and protagonist gaining respect for one another's skills isn't a focus on contrasting traits and characterization. Cut.

Edited by ILikeRobots on Sep 2nd 2019 at 2:21:01 AM

possesses the major Crest of sleepiness
WarJay77 Simba is tired from Upstate New York Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Simba is tired
Sep 2nd 2019 at 10:32:48 PM

[up] I agree, and we should add Worthy Opponent as a possible reaction between foils, not a foil trope itself.

    Pairs of Foils analysis 
  • Adventure Duo: A pairing of a hotblooded lancer and a more straightlaced hero. I can see the foil aspect.
  • Armored Villains, Unarmored Heroes While this works as a visual contrast, I don't see how it works as a personality foil...
  • Beast and Beauty: I guess one could argue that the beauty brings out the beast's beasty-ness, and the beast the beauty's inherent goodness, so...
  • Beta Couple: The less dramatic pairing that shows how screwed up the main pairing actually is.
  • Betty and Veronica: Two potential Love Interests in a Love Triangle: The lovable Girl Next Door or the enticing Good Bad Girl. The Veronica shows how innocent and good the Betty is, and the Betty shows the rebellious and attractive nature of the Veronica.
  • Bickering Couple, Peaceful Couple: A couple who argues a lot and a couple who gets along fine. Same reason as Beta Couple
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: They're mostly a visual contrast, but I guess they can be a foil if they have contrasting personalities, but that's not really inherent to the trope?
  • Bully and Wimp Pairing: This is one I've been waiting to mention. The only reason I can guess is for the Brains and Brawn angle, but why not just list Brains and Brawn? The bully-wimp part doesn't add much in the way of a foil.
  • Brother-Sister Team: What now? I mean, sure, I guess they can be a foil pairing, but again, anything that would make them a foil would be covered by other tropes, not this one specifically.
  • Cain and Abel: When one sibling is good while the other is villainous. Yep, this is a foil.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough I can see it, with the rougher sergeant bringing out the refined, gentle-manly nature of the captain, and vice-versa.
  • Chevalier vs. Rogue Pretty much everything about these two characters is in contrast, so it works.
  • Cool-Kid-and-Loser Friendship Loser makes the cool kid look cooler? Maybe? Who knows...
  • Cop and Scientist So, okay, this is about a law-enforcement pairing with different roles in the investigation. I guess the scientist would make the cop look dumber and more action oriented by comparison...
  • Dueling Messiahs: Two heroes who oppose each other on how to protect the world.While this can manifest in different ways, done well it can definitely be a foil pairing.
  • Fat and Skinny: Beyond the physical aspects, the personality contrast makes this fitting.
  • Female Flatfoot and Snarky Guy: One's a By the Book Fair Cop, and one's a Street Smart Lovable Rogue. Together, They Fight Crime!. Makes sense to me.
  • Friendly Rivalry As established, rivals in general are almost always foils, soo....
  • Gentle Touch vs. Firm Hand: Where one guides people through gentleness while the other guides through harshness. Works.
  • Geodesic Cast I suppose each counterpart can act as a foil? Slight stretch, but I'll roll with it.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel If they were actual characters, I'd be okay. But it's just the character's conscience battling, and I wouldn't exactly call them foils, as they aren't meant to contrast each other, but to act as an internal battle.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop Blah blah blah, one shows how good and nice the other is, vice versa, it counts.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: I was so hoping this would just be "their hair is different", but it comes with a personality contrast as well, involving one being "good" and the other "bad".
  • Irishman and a Jew: When going the Odd Couple route, their differing outlooks and personalities can definitely create a foil situation.
  • Lady and Knight: It's a popular pairing, but where's the foil part?
  • Little Guy, Big Buddy Again, not really seeing the foil part. They just be different sizes.
  • Merlin and Nimue I'm unsure here. I guess I can see the foil part in that the Nimue eventually betrays the Merlin, so there's a moral contrast...sure, why not.
  • Multinational Team Being from different countries =/= being a foil.
  • Night and Day Duo As I launched this one, I might be slightly biased, but I think it counts here. The light aspects of the Day character contrast the dark aspects of the Night character, and they highlight these traits.
  • Old Cop, Young Cop: The page mentions several ways these two can act as foils, so it works.
  • Opposed Mentors: The mentors contrast eachother in a way that highlight their differences in worldview.
  • Opposites Attract: When characters who are different from each other fall in love. Okay, I'm torn. On one hand, I can see potential for this sort of couple to be a foil, but that'd be if their differences were important personality traits and morality traits, not just "one likes pineapple on pizza and the other doesn't".
  • Outlaw Couple: They're sometimes foils, but the trope can also just be "couple commits crimes together, so...
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Twins who are different in personality. Their differences are almost always going to be done in a way that plays up said differences when they're interacting, so it works.
  • Right Way/Wrong Way Pair: One character does things properly while the other doesn't. The wrong-doing character makes the good-doing character looks even better.
  • Rival Dojos: The Pacifist Dojo vs. the Thug Dojo. Thuggish badguys make the pacifists look even more peaceful and good.
  • Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick: If the hero is rude, the sidekick is a Nice Guy. Rude sidekick makes nice hero look nicer.
  • Salt and Pepper: A white character and black character are foils. Their personalities and backgrounds tend to be so different, they can't help but be foils.
  • Science Foils Foil is literally in the name, so if it doesn't count, we've a problem.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Two siblings who have opposite personalities. Fits for the same reason as Polar Opposite Twins
  • Similar Squad The point of this trope is that the characters are so similar, it's weird. Not seeing much in the way of foil here, unless they're different in such a way that it sticks out...
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: It's a situation where the characters can be foils, but the foil part isn't inherent to the trope.
  • Student and Master Team: Works on the "inexperience and experience" idea.
  • Those Two Guys: The description points out that they usually have very contrasting personalities, so I guess they could be foils to each other, if they actually get enough screen-time to show it off...
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Again, the trope mentions that they are usually foils.
  • ˇThree Amigos!: The two sidekicks typically contrast, with the hero as the everyman. Works for me.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: The lackey's incompetence highlights the villain's evil.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Specifically the variant where one picks on the other and the other doesn't notice. Yeah, I'm not sure this one is it, chief...is it supposed to be that the vitriol of one highlights the genuine friendliness of the other?
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: The wackiness of the parent highlights the seriousness of the kid.

As before, most of these are good, but some are really pushing it.

Female troper who likes Pokemon, ARGs, Writing, and more. / Links: Sandbox.Zero Context Example Thread - Sandbox.Roleplay Cleanup Thread

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