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Foil Cleanup Thread

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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 2nd 2019 at 11:25:39 PM

[up] Looks good from a first glance. I'll go through it more thoroughly and note my thoughts down tomorrow.

I've edited the main foil page to cut the shoehorned subtropes from the standalone folder, and commented out a couple that are ambiguous and need rewrites or reworkings to fit on the page. After the other subsections are pruned, we can go through and add explanations to the ones that fit on how they can be used as foils.

I've also noted that interaction between the characters is important, and put Contrasting Sequel Main Character and Contrasting Sequel Antagonist in the description to make it clear that they don't count as foils.

Edited by ILikeRobots on Sep 2nd 2019 at 11:28:58 AM

Adventurers: homeless people who steal from tombs and kill things.
GoldenCityBird from the UK
Sep 3rd 2019 at 2:10:22 AM

I've managd to trim down most of V3's cross-game examples down to those who interact in UTDP. However, I'm not sure if they serve as foils to each other. I've got a link to the wiki, which has transcripts of their conversations in UTDP, here.

Edited by GoldenCityBird on Sep 3rd 2019 at 10:11:36 AM

Piterpicher from Poland, for real Relationship Status: Awaiting my mail-order bride
Sep 3rd 2019 at 7:51:50 AM

I think Foil.The Big Bang Theory should be looked at. Multiple examples seem like shoehorning singular or meaningless traits like ethnicity or using several characters in a single comparison.

As for V3, I'd remove Kokichi and Himiko as well as Ryoma and Korekiyo. The characters don't interact closely enough.

Edited by Piterpicher on Sep 3rd 2019 at 4:59:19 PM

ILikeRobots Aspirant Creativity Wizard from the worlds of my imagination Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Aspirant Creativity Wizard
Sep 3rd 2019 at 8:24:08 AM

[up] Yup, just taking a quick look at the page, there are some entries that are fairly meaningless character trivia "x likes Star Wars and y doesn't," which is of course not foil-worthy and should be cut. The entries about contrasting personality traits can stay, but the page needs a major rewrite to mention the interactions and how they highlight these traits.

[up] x2 I'll take a look at the wiki later and give my opinion on if it counts.

[up] x3 Good analysis again. Going through the tropes to highlight the ones that seem shoehorned and can be cut and the ones that might work, but just need clarification on the page:

    Tropes that don't fit and those that need clarification 
  • Armored Villains, Unarmored Heroes: Contrasting appearance alone isn't enough to make a foil. Cut.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Contrasting physical characteristics aren't enough to make foils without any indication of contrasting personalities. Cut.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Characters being opposite gender and siblings doesn't automatically make them foils. Cut.
  • Bully and Wimp Pairing: Hmm, I think I know what this is going for; a brutish, antagonistic kid highlighting the traits of a spindly, meek kid. Could work as written, since these two characters are by definition have personality traits opposed to one another and have to interact, which I think gives it a niche away from Brains and Brawn. Leaning toward keep.
  • Fat and Skinny: Definitely needs the small description to clarify that the personality contrast part of this trope is what makes them foils, not just the physical descriptions. Keep, but add the clarification about personality.
  • Cool Kid-and-Loser Friendship: Iffy on this one. It could work, provided the emphasis is on the loser's socially awkward traits and the cool kid's personable and popular traits, but the two aren't necessarily opposite personalities. Unsure. Could be described to work with the trope.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Agreed that this doesn't fit. It's a more interesting and creative way to show a character's internal struggles about morality vs. selfishness, not a pair of characters contrasting another. Cut.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: Thought it was just an appearance trope at first as well, but the personality contrast is there so it counts. We just need to write a description that reminds people and emphasizes the personality contrasts. Keep and add description emphasizing personality contrast.
  • Lady and Knight: Just a popular character duo, with no emphasis on the two having contrasting personality traits. Cut.
  • Little Guy, Big Buddy: Yup, just an appearance contrast trope, which doesn't belong on a primary characterization trope. Cut.
  • Merlin and Nimue: Eh, I don't think it really counts. The requirements for the trope as listed on the page are "two magic users with an age and gender difference, might be romantically involved, and one ends up betraying the other," with nothing saying that they have to be contrasting personalities. Cut.
  • Multinational Team: Just being diverse doesn't make them foils. Cut.
  • Night and Day Duo: Hmm... Not sure this counts. This is more like a "contrasting power set" or "contrasting symbols" trope, rather than a contrasting personality trope based on the writeup. I might be missing something. Leaning toward cut.
  • Opposites Attract: Yup, these two can work as foils, so long as we specify the differences have to be substantial personality differences, not just minor preferences. Keep and add description emphasizing important personality differences.
  • Outlaw Couple: Just a duo trope. Not inherently contrasting personalities. Cut.
  • Similar Squad: This is meant to be a group of characters that are virtually identical to another group, not one that contrasts with it. Cut.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Another one of those it can work, but it's not inherent to the trope that the two are contrasting personalities. Might be able to keep, so long as we specify that they must be opposite personalities.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The second type could work, but I'm not entirely sure. I think the scope of the trope is about people who seem initially opposed to one another being close friends, but pairings of "nice person/mean person" are covered by other tropes. Unsure. Might be able to work if other tropes don't already cover it better?

Edited by ILikeRobots on Sep 3rd 2019 at 8:30:42 AM

Adventurers: homeless people who steal from tombs and kill things.
GoldenCityBird from the UK
Sep 3rd 2019 at 8:42:37 AM

[up][up] I've removed Ryoma and Korekiyo. I've only commented out Kokichi and Himiko, as they both survive for quite a while, but they can be removed.

Piterpicher from Poland, for real Relationship Status: Awaiting my mail-order bride
Sep 3rd 2019 at 8:50:23 AM

I've removed examples on TBBT which were about outlier characters in groups or meaningless non-personality traits. I don't think I'm up to rewriting current examples yet, though.

Edited by Piterpicher on Sep 3rd 2019 at 5:51:24 PM

Lermis Purposefully Untitled from Out of touch with reality Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Purposefully Untitled
Sep 3rd 2019 at 11:50:14 AM

[up] Hey, you can repost any misuses of Foil you find in this TLP thread, if you think it'll help you clean up easier. The whole point is to help with the cleanup.

Trying to clean up Undertale.
ILikeRobots Aspirant Creativity Wizard from the worlds of my imagination Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Aspirant Creativity Wizard
Sep 5th 2019 at 8:06:13 AM

I've gone through the pairs of common foils on the main page and deleted those that didn't fit from before. I've hidden those that are more ambiguous and could possibly be rewritten to fit based on the analysis.

Finished giving a bit more context to how the subtropes fit, partly with stuff I wrote and partly with stuff ~War Jay 77 wrote. Gonna make another pass through later on to finish it up, then tackle the last two sections of the common foils folder.

Adventurers: homeless people who steal from tombs and kill things.
WarJay77 He who is without bones from The Void Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
He who is without bones
ILikeRobots Aspirant Creativity Wizard from the worlds of my imagination Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Aspirant Creativity Wizard
Sep 8th 2019 at 1:17:26 AM

[up] That would be a useful place for the opposite duo tropes that don't rely on personality and interaction to go so they aren't mistaken for foil, now that I think about it. Maybe those could be migrated over there.

Edited by ILikeRobots on Sep 8th 2019 at 1:18:02 AM

Adventurers: homeless people who steal from tombs and kill things.
Jul 26th 2020 at 8:29:07 PM

Per this, I have a question. If the characters don't interact but in-universe characters bring up the contrast, can they count as a Foil as it shows it's intentional? And/or would it only apply if they exist in the same work, time, and/or setting such they could hypothetically interact such? Or is that Foil as a Discussed Trope?

What about juxtaposition? When the don't necessarily interact but the editing portrays them in a way to show contrast. Would that be enough to prove it intentional enough to count as this trope?

Edited by Ferot_Dreadnaught on Jul 28th 2020 at 12:32:54 PM

Aug 1st 2020 at 6:32:24 PM

I got a reply from the maker of the Foil Cleanup thread saying it should be interacting only and other discussing the contrast is a Discussed Trope. Juxtaposition like I described sounds like a separate trope.

I'll add this to Square Peg, Round Trope on the 4th per Three-Day Rule unless I hear any objections.


Edited by Ferot_Dreadnaught on Aug 1st 2020 at 6:35:04 AM

Aug 1st 2020 at 6:37:50 PM

Based on the discussion in Trope Talk, it sounds more like both interaction-based contrast and juxtaposition-based contrast would be subtropes to the broader Foil supertrope.

Edited by Twiddler on Aug 1st 2020 at 6:41:35 AM

Aug 1st 2020 at 8:31:25 PM

[up]How about this?

  • Foil is often shoehorned to apply to any coincidentally contrasting characters, even from completely separate series. Foils have to interact with each other or be juxtaposed in-work to emphasize the contrast and show it is intentional. Other talking about their contrast is Foil as a Discussed Trope. Other intentionally contrasting character may fall under Contrasting Sequel Main Character / Contrasting Sequel Antagonist.

Or are we talking about splitting Foil into separate interaction and juxtaposition based tropes?

Edited by Ferot_Dreadnaught on Aug 1st 2020 at 10:09:03 AM

Aug 14th 2020 at 4:11:24 AM

What happens if we encounter examples we're not sure apply. Do we raise them here or leave them in place until the exact wording of the trope has been finalised?

If my post doesn't mention a giant flying sperm whale with oversized teeth and lionfish fins for flippers, it's just not worth reading.
Serac S̷p̷r̷i̸n̵g̶ Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Sep 9th 2020 at 9:42:32 AM

From a character page for Warframe, in Octavia's folder:

  • Foil: To Titania, fitting since the respective syndicates that provide their quests are on opposite sides:
    • Titania's Spellbind grants status immunity to allies and deals crowd control to enemies while Mallet creates a target that deals more damage to enemies the more it's shot at.
    • Tribute and Metronome both give buffs but are given in different ways; Tribute requires a certain enemy type to give one of its 4 buffs, while Metronome requires doing certain actions to the beat of the music, all while giving an armor buff while active.
    • Lantern and Resonator both charms enemies while dealing damage to them, but Lantern requires an enemy to use it on and makes said enemy invincible while Resonator needs no prerequisites but can be strengthened by Mallet.
    • Razorwing and Amp have synergy with their other abilities. Titania being able to cast her other abilities while in Razorwing mode, and Octavia's Amp increasing the damage and range of Mallet if it's in Amp's area of effect.

I'm very skeptical of any entries between different Warframes. For context, they're essentially half-organic robotic bodies that your player character, an Operator, can possess. They almost never have any kind of interaction with each other in the game's story; if a Warframe gets any kind of story relevance, it's a quest that is entirely devoted to that one Warframe, and none of the quests establish any kind of dichotomy between multiple Warframes.

But to delve further into this entry, Octavia is The Bard and Titania is a pixie. Their themes have nothing to do with each other. The part about opposed syndicates is technically true, but it's not something that ever gets much focus, to the point where you can still get Octavia's quest from Cephalon Suda even if she hates your guts and just sent a bunch of robots to kill you in the previous mission. And the actual entries are very weak comparisons. Would anyone object if I cut this?

Edited by Serac on Sep 9th 2020 at 11:44:55 AM

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