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Adorkable is suffering from a bad case of Trope Decay. It's been brought up several times recently in Trope Talk, ATT and elsewhere in the forum discussions.
Currently, it has 11 162 wicks. 100 random examples from various media and subpages have been checked (actually I checked more, but some were too murky to assess, and even so, the "murky" folder has several entries).
For detailed wickcheck, see Sandbox.Adorkable Wick Check.
Sandbox.Tropes Needing TRS has a good summary of the issue:
Would it be better off as a YMMV trope?
On one hand, I think a lot of works do give these characters traits like these to make them more endearing to the audience.
...However, how endearing the characters actually end up being is entirely subjective.
I think if we are keeping it as an objective trope, the easiest way is to limit it to a character being seen as cute because of their dorkiness in-universe but most of the examples would have to go then
Here are two possible options we could go with:
1. Make it a requirement that the characterís adorkableness is acknowledged by other characters and/or draws other characters to them In-Universe
2. Make the trope YMMV
Or, we could have it both ways and split it. One trope could be for when fans find a character particularly cute for having "dorky" traits, and the other is an in-universe "dorks are cute" trope.
I was thinking so as well.
Edited by jandn2014 on May 15th 2020 at 1:22:38 PM
I guess we could move a few of the examples about cuteness from Nerds Are Sexy to this "dorks are cute" trope if we decide split it from Adorkable
I guess it'd be like the difference between The Cutie and Moe.
Edited by AlleyOop on May 15th 2020 at 1:32:34 PM
I saw a couple of cases where it was used to describe someone's appearance. Didn't think they were valid, so I commented them out.
I was actually thinking of how Moe is YMMV when discussion of Adorkable being used subjectively came up.
Edited by GastonRabbit on May 16th 2020 at 3:22:52 AM
Yeah, Moe and The Cutie are perfect tropes to reference here. One relies on audience perception and enjoyment of a character, the other relies on how the character is portrayed in the work itself. The same could happen with an Adorkable split.
Since I posted my previous post shortly after waking up, I had a brain fart and accidentally typed "I was actually of" instead of "I was actually thinking of" in my previous post. I fixed it to clarify what I meant to say.
Edited by GastonRabbit on May 16th 2020 at 3:27:04 AM
I guess a split would be sufficient. I remember seeing Freddie Benson from iCarly listed as Adorkable years ago and thought "this is YMMV on the main page". So...
I agree to splitting Adorkable into a YMMV page and an objective trope about how a character is perceived In-Universe.
Proposed split is a great idea.
Also behind the split.
Yay, the thread's been opened.
It would never occur to me, but splitting it is actually a decent idea. More than that. The comparison to Moe and The Cutie is great. BTW, some examples from the wick check are probably just Moes or Cuties. "Adorkable" is often potholed when from the context, it's clearly just "adorable".
I'm just not sure how I like the idea of all the gushing just moved to YMMV tab. It'll be less bothersome, but still... Audience Reaction also have some standards.
Gushing that's too personal can either be neutered down to "audiences find this character adorable because of their dorky traits" or cut if it's too much personal squeeing.
Skimming through Adorkable's subpages there really aren't that many examples of characters being considered cute because of their dorkiness in-universe and I have never seen Adorkabe used that way in wicks. But I assume we can find more examples if we ran Dorks Are Cute through TLP.
TBF, it might be based on how the wicks are written. We might need to try and find outside context at some points to determine if a character fits the Audience Reaction version, or the In-Universe version.
I guess we can count non-explicit cues too? Although we should try to narrow down how those would look, because there are cases where you can tell it was done to get an Intended Audience Reaction, but the criteria may not be easy to delineate.
All the examples I could find on the subpages that mention "in-universe". Would these count?
Live Action TV
I think so, although they need to be rewritten to remove fandom references.
What about New Girl, where Zooey Deschanel's character was actually called adorkable in the marketing?
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?