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Brainulator9 Short-Term Projects herald from US Relationship Status: I get a feeling so complicated...
Short-Term Projects herald
Oct 10th 2019 at 10:30:44 AM

Continuing from a Trope Repair Shop thread, Critical Research Failure is prone to misuse. Given how many entries we have for the trope, on-page and off-page, as well as consensus reached in the TRS thread, entries should be sure that they fit the following criteria.

  • They are obvious to the layman according to contemporary standards.
    • If you are an expert on the subject at hand, check if a non-expert would know that fact. Ask here if you need help.
    • "Contemporary standards" refers to the time and place the work was made. Evaluating a work based on standards in a different time and/or place than it was made can and will lead to Values Dissonance, so the author(s) cannot be held accountable.
  • They are about facts regarding the real world.
  • They are not intentional decisions.

In-Universe examples are less problematic and thus do not need as much attention.

If you feel tempted to add a Justifying Edit explaining how the authors would not have known better, just delete the example.

Please ask if you have any questions. Answers may be posted here for reference.

Edited by Brainulator9 on Oct 10th 2019 at 1:32:49 PM

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Oct 10th 2019 at 4:49:32 PM

Do any of the Emoji Movie examples count?

Oct 11th 2019 at 7:29:26 AM

Since it’s a YMMV trope, it should probably be removed from non-YMMV pages.

Oct 11th 2019 at 8:23:35 AM

[up][up] Some of them do feel a bit nitpicky

  • The phone would not have been deleted, but given a factory reset. Even though it's not the most accurate word, it's not too unreasonable to use the term "deleting a phone" as shorthand for "deleting everything on a phone".
  • Most phones do not have "firewalls" in the traditional sense. Not sure about this one. It sounds like it could be intentional Artistic License, since the word "firewall" sounds kind of cool.
  • Trolls aren't malware like viruses or Trojan Horses. They're actual people. Keep
  • A factory reset can be performed by the user, using the phone itself, and it doesn't need to be taken to a repair shop for that to be done. Not sure, but I think it would make sense for a kid to not know how to do a factory reset, which could justify going to a store to have someone else do it
  • An emoji has no code; it's an image (which is internally stored as a Unicode character), therefore, it can't be reprogrammed. What can be reprogrammed is the code that puts the emojis in a text, but even then, it's already in the phone and there's no need to go to the cloud to change any code. In fact, the cloud wouldn't be housing any sort of code necessary for the use of emojis, as they already come pre-installed in phones as Unicode characters. Sounds a bit too obscure for a random person to know
  • Guessing random words until you get the correct password is not a form of hacking. You'd think that Sony would know this after their infamous hack. Probably too obscure

chasemaddigan I'm Sad Frogerson.
I'm Sad Frogerson.
Oct 11th 2019 at 8:37:30 AM

Yeah, the "trolls are represented as malware" seems to be the only real valid example to me. I haven't seen the movie, but that seems like a pretty bad screw-up on the filmmakers part.

Oct 11th 2019 at 9:57:03 AM

From YMMV.Steven Universe S 3 E 20 Bismuth:

  • Critical Research Failure: "The Breaking Point" is an In-Universe and possible Out-verse example: Extraordinarily powerful and able to One-Hit Kill any Gem, but any well-trained or seasoned combatant would reject it, even if they didn't care about morality. Why? Because on the battlefield, it might as well be a large hunk of scrap; think about it, it's got a really short range, needs at least a few seconds to charge back up after every single use and can only deliver on its One-Hit Kill promise if you hit one very small, specific area on your opponent's body, which could be located anywhere. And that's not even getting into the problems one would face due to the laws of physics (i.e. weight and recoil) or potential design flaws. It could potentially have use in executions, though, where most of the flaws would be negated.

I was kinda surprised when I first saw this, because I've used these exact arguments before. But I'm not sure if Critical Research Failure is the best way to describe it. I think one of the Artistic License tropes might be better, but I'm not sure which one would work.

Brainulator9 Short-Term Projects herald from US Relationship Status: I get a feeling so complicated...
Short-Term Projects herald
Oct 11th 2019 at 10:32:50 AM

[up] Reads to me more like Awesome, yet Impractical.

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GastonRabbit A real nowhere man from Robinson, Illinois, USA Relationship Status: I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
Oct 15th 2019 at 2:04:06 AM

Rule of thumb: If a Critical Research Failure entry is several sentences long, it's probably misuse. Ideally, errors covered by examples shouldn't need to be explained (at least not with an essay) because of how obvious they are.

As far as Clear, Concise, Witty is concerned, I think Concise might be especially important here, because descriptions of errors regarding basic facts would probably be clear by default.

Edit: Also, the fifth example in Someoneman's post has an error of its own. Emoji are stored as characters in fonts (which aren't even exclusive to phones; my PC supports them just fine), and are thus are treated as text instead of images (as in, not stored as PNG, GIF, etc. files). Some fonts, such as Google's Noto fonts (at least some of which have emoji support), explicitly allow modification, so their appearances can be changed (and even without such a license, users can just choose to use a different font, as opposed to how emoticons look the same for everyone, eyesight problems notwithstanding). I think whoever wrote that example confused emoji with emoticons.

Edited by GastonRabbit on Oct 15th 2019 at 7:02:48 AM

"I'll be waiting on the road! It's a 10 million fine if you're late!" —Barry, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl
PlasmaPower Smug as fudge. Relationship Status: In love with love
Smug as fudge.
Oct 17th 2019 at 1:39:57 PM

Can I ask about the Franklin example I added recently?

  • In Franklin and the Green Knight, a film from the Franklin series, Mrs. Turtle is shown being pregnant (as with most mammals) with Franklin's sister, Harriet, despite the fact that turtles, as with all reptiles, lay eggs from which their young hatch. How the writers managed to mess that one up is anyone's guess.

Firstly, I know, I should take out the potshot towards the writers. Secondly, and more importantly, I know this entry meets the first two criteria but what about the third? Was that intentional or not? How are we supposed to tell if they did it on purpose or not?

Edited by PlasmaPower on Oct 17th 2019 at 5:40:33 AM

Oct 17th 2019 at 4:29:06 PM

I'm sorry to just come here. Just wanted to talk about the Franklin example, because intention might be the hardest thing to actually check. I don't know the movie, but seems like the creators just wanted to make a standard pregnancy story, but since the main characters were reptiles, they had to either ignore that, or write around an egg, in which they chose the former. I would give them the benefit of the doubt and say it was intentional, in my opinion.

Brainulator9 Short-Term Projects herald from US Relationship Status: I get a feeling so complicated...
Short-Term Projects herald
Oct 17th 2019 at 5:30:23 PM

My question is this: since Franklin is targeted for preschool audiences, would said preschoolers know that turtles don't get pregnant like mammals do?

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PrincessPandaTrope Gotta get those rings! from Crisis City with Silver the Hedgehog Relationship Status: Loves me...loves me not
Gotta get those rings!
Oct 17th 2019 at 6:22:35 PM

I think it's just Artistic License – Biology, specially an inverse of Whale Egg.

This Very Wiki, the ultimate site for when you want to document that fanfic or webcomic you found but it's too obscure for Wikipedia
Oct 18th 2019 at 12:28:03 AM

Did you know that turtles also don't walk on two legs or speak English? That seems like pretty common knowledge to me. How did the writers miss that one? /s

Nov 14th 2019 at 3:08:14 PM

Some examples from cut pages were moved to this sandbox. Are any valid examples?

Nov 14th 2019 at 3:45:45 PM

I'm confused about this example on the aforementioned sandbox.

  • The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Honest Trailer lists "Coach" as a character Rankin/Bass created especially for the special, even though his first name, Comet, gets mentioned in the second line of the song.

Where does he get mentioned? The second line of the song, last time I checked, is "had a very shiny nose".

chasemaddigan I'm Sad Frogerson.
I'm Sad Frogerson.
Nov 14th 2019 at 3:59:04 PM

[up] I assume that's the intro to the song.

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen
Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen
But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?

Edited by chasemaddigan on Nov 14th 2019 at 6:59:33 AM

PlasmaPower Smug as fudge. Relationship Status: In love with love
Smug as fudge.
Nov 16th 2019 at 3:03:23 PM

From YMMV.The Simpsons S 19 E 11 That90s Show

  • Critical Research Failure: A billboard in 1998 depicts Amy Rose with her design from Sonic Adventure, which wasn't released in North America until the following year.

What is the majority of the audience of The Simpsons made of? Does this even fit considering how much of the audience knows of the history of Sonic the Hedgehog? And I was probably for a one-off gag too.

Edited by PlasmaPower on Nov 16th 2019 at 7:05:50 AM

Brainulator9 Short-Term Projects herald from US Relationship Status: I get a feeling so complicated...
Short-Term Projects herald
Nov 16th 2019 at 3:23:10 PM

[up] Cut it, seems more Cowboy BeBop at His Computer's cup of tea.

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WarJay77 It takes a lot to make a stew... from The Void Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
It takes a lot to make a stew...
Dec 7th 2019 at 8:41:47 AM

From YMMV.Schaffrillas Productions

  • Critical Research Failure: In his ranking the Disney Renaissance films, while he correctly identifies the fat guard's voice actor in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame as Bill Fagerbakke (the voice of Patrick Star), he mistakenly identifies the skinny guard's voice actor as Mr. Lawrence, the voice of Plankton. The skinny guard is actually voiced by Corey Burton. In the same video, he also incorrectly identifies the Leopard that killed Tarzan's parents as a Cheetah.

Brainulator9 Short-Term Projects herald from US Relationship Status: I get a feeling so complicated...
Short-Term Projects herald
Dec 7th 2019 at 11:07:07 AM

[up] Move to CBAHC.

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fragglelover Krazy Kat
Krazy Kat
Dec 10th 2019 at 6:42:06 AM

This was added to King of the Hill:

MEOW!
Dec 10th 2019 at 7:30:14 AM

There are multiple very long entries on YMMV.King Of The Hill, and a lot of them are pretty bad. Let's look at them all:

  • Critical Research Failure:
    • The State Fair episode which depicts the fairground as a grassy field lined with tent around Big Tex, the fair's mascot. In actuality, the area is completely concrete, next to a few museum buildings which weren't depicted in the episode. In fact, even at the time of the episode's airing, all cooking contests were inside said buildings. They never take place outside. Not only that, Fair Park, where the State Fair takes place, is smack dab in the middle of Dallas. Depends how strictly we want to take the "obvious to the layman" rule. This is only obvious to laymen who happen to have personally attended the Texas State Fair. One could also make a pretty convincing argument that this is intentional artistic license and that perfect accuracy was not one of the creators' priorities.
    • In the episode "Bystand Me," Peggy accidentally puts an article in the newspaper advising housewives to mix bleach with ammonia, which Hank says is mustard gas. While you do get a dangerous gas when you mix bleach with ammonia (chloramide), it's not the ingredients for real mustard gas, which is the result of reacting ethylene and sulfur dichloride. Though, this may be a Justified Trope as the writers probably didn't want to accidentally teach potential terrorists and overly impressionable kids how to make real mustard gas. The effects of the two gases are also similar, so it gets the point across even if it isn't accurate. This is an in-universe character speaking imprecisely, which is entirely in character for him, not the work itself getting its facts wrong.
    • In "Redcorn Gambles With His Future", John Redcorn's planned Indian casino is shut down when he finds that Texas doesn't allow Indian gaming. This is utterly wrong, as the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Indian reservations' right to offer gambling even in states where it's illegal due to tribal sovereignty, though they probably did this for artistic license. That said, this plotline is probably inspired by the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center, operated in El Paso by the Tigua Pueblo, who have engaged in a decades-long legal battle with the Texas state government over precisely this issue. Not obvious to the layman, and considering that Texas has apparently fought to shut down at least one Indian casino, not even that inaccurate.
    • Any episode where civilian characters get haircuts (or, in Luanne's case, cut hair) at the Army base. Military barbershops are run by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. Civilians are not allowed in these barbershops. Like the Texas State Fair, this is only obvious to a specific subset of laymen who happen to have lived on military bases. Personally, I'm an Army brat and it never would have occurred to me to question whether or under what circumstances a civilian would be allowed into an Army barbershop.
    • The episode that depicts Bobby taking women defense class and going a little too overboard with the Groin Attack. He tries it on Peggy, but she claims it doesn't work since she ladies don't have groins. However, any women will tell you that just because they have vaginas doesn't mean it still doesn't hurt when hit there as that area is still a sensitive part of the body. This one could be legit; IIRC Peggy No Sells the groin shot in a way that's pretty unrealistic.
    • "Junkie Business" gets several things wrong on the ADA. First, the law says you have to provide reasonable accommodations, not tolerate every absurdity. Also, you have to get a doctor's note declaring you need said accommodations. There's also the fact that the law explicitly doesn't protect a current user of drugs, and while the law doesn't explicitly define a "current user of drugs," checking into rehab less than an hour before being "technically" terminated is almost certainly too recent to get ADA protections, especially when coupled with the fact that Leon had used drugs on the job just that afternoon. Then there's the Drug Free Workplace Act, which allows the usage of illegal drugs on the job to be grounds for termination, and which the ADA directly says it does not interfere with. Even ignoring all of that, however, Leon was brutally incompetent at his job even before his drug use was revealed; the ADA cannot protect you from termination that is the result of sub-par job performance that is not related to your disability — and in fact, it doesn't protect you from termination resulting from sub-par job performance that is directly related to the usage of illegal drugs — though Hank shot himself in the foot in this regard by stating to Leon that his addiction is the reason he was fired rather than being bad at his job. Then, of course, are all of the ridiculous "disabilities" that the Strickland employees claim in order to get accommodation, none of which rise to the level of ADA protection (special mention goes to Hector claiming he has priapism, which, were he telling the truth, would not so much be a disability, but rather a medical emergency demanding immediate treatment). Basically, if anyone at Strickland (or Anthony Page, for that matter) knew anything about the ADA other than the company size threshold, they could have avoided all of the problems. Made even more egregious by the fact that Peggy outright reads from the Act in the episode, so Hank really should have known better. Look at this freaking essay. While a layman may well realize that this episode is exaggerated, I question whether they'd be aware of all of these niggling details. One could also convincingly argue that the exaggeration is intentional for the purposes of satire.
    • In "Trans-Fascism," Ted Wassonasong gets trans-fats banned from Arlen, citing other major cities as examples, and this leads to all food in Arlen becoming bland and tasteless. Peggy goes so far as to define trans-fats as "the things added to food that makes it delicious." The trans-fat bans Ted was pointing to were nowhere near as harsh as the one in Arlen; using trans-fats was a health code violation rather than a criminal offense. And these weren't total bans on trans-fats, just a limit on how much a serving of food could contain, and they weren't low enough to get something like rare burgers banned across the board. Not to mention there are a ton of substitutes for trans-fats that can be used in cooking, such as a variety of plant oils and — especially if you're in the South — lard. If you've ever used a bottle of Crisco, you've used one yourself. In fact, plenty of major restaurant chains and food manufacturers had been already been phasing out trans-fats in their foods when the episode aired. Dale also mentions craving raw oysters, implying that it is banned, despite raw oysters containing no trans fats at all. Another case of intentional exaggeration for comedic effect, not poor research.
    • "Lady and Gentrification" heavily demonizes the latter phenomenon by depicting "gentrification" as harmful for long time residents of neighborhoods due to rising rents pushing them out of their neighborhoods. Objective economic research by professionals from institutions such as Columbia University and the Federal Reserve of Cleveland shows that gentrification actually helps poor residents, due to new parks, safer streets, better schools, and better job opportunities. In reality, the narrative that gentrification hurts the poor is largely pushed by first wave middle class gentrifiers trying to avoid being pushed out by the second wave who are richer and more productive than them. The financial health of original residents in gentrifying neighborhoods increases, as compared to original residents in non-gentrifying, low-priced neighborhoods, and they largely stay where they are. This is a contentious political issue, not a matter of established fact, and it's very dubious that the layman has in-depth knowledge of the economics of gentrification.

I'm in favor of cutting everything but the Groin Attack entry, but I'm open to discussion.

Edited by HighCrate on Dec 10th 2019 at 7:35:38 AM

Brainulator9 Short-Term Projects herald from US Relationship Status: I get a feeling so complicated...
Short-Term Projects herald
Dec 10th 2019 at 7:58:16 AM

[up] Your analysis is correct. Delete all but the Groin Attack example.

EDIT: Removed.

Edited by Brainulator9 on Dec 10th 2019 at 3:22:38 PM

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Dec 10th 2019 at 3:33:12 PM

From YMMV.Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 07 E 11 Prodigal Daughter

  • Critical Research Failure: Right there in the title. Ezri is not a "prodigal" daughter in any way. The word means "wasteful and frivolous," not "far from home."

I think when most people use the term, they aren't using the literal meaning, so this example seems a bit pedantic.


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