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There's a lot of confusion about what Epileptic Trees is about. Is it just for wide-ranging fandom theories? Weird fandom theories? If it's for weird theories, what about Stock Epileptic Trees?
I think we need to figure this out. Worst case scenario, this needs TRS.
I've also seen it used to refer to things that inspire speculation and theories in the fandom.
The page itself is more for "weird fandom theories," but I think "common fandom theories" could be worth listing, distinguished from Fanon in that they're more intense, controversial, and often put the entire show in a new context. Sort of a "headcanon vs theory" distinction.
I was actually considering a YMMV trope called Dark Theory a while back, for fan theories that are much darker than the works they are theories of.
The description makes it sound like outlandish fan theories that have little to no chance of being true, particularly for works with an Ontological Mystery.
It even has Crackpot Theory as a redirect.
From prior cleanups, Epileptic Trees are supposed to be off the wall outlandish theories, such there's little chance the work will either confirm or deny them.
It sounds The Same, but More Specific to Wild Mass Guessing, such I'm not sure how it's supposed to be a separate trope. Anything on that?
WMG is where we plant our own Epileptic Trees. It is a namespace here, WMG is not supposed to be a trope.
So Trees has to be prevalent within the fandom, makes sense. So how is it distinct from Fanon then? Because fanon is about the characters/setting at present while ET is about speculation for future events?
And despite the name, Wild Mass Guessing does not actually require the theory to be crazy.
So both that Applejack does not like sweets and that she is secretly a robot that wants to invent cars qualify?
The page seems to say this is about weird theories. In practice, people tend to use it to mean "theories present in the fandom". I've definitely seen it used to mean "something in the work that inspires speculation" more than a few times. This kind of sounds like fanspeak to me and not an actual trope.
What throws the wrench for me is Stock Epileptic Trees, which...aren't super out-there theories for the most part.
It seems to me that people have been using Epileptic Trees to basically mean fan theories. This is why I think we should treat term as fanspeak, like what we did with Jossed.
Edit: We could also change Stock Epileptic Trees to Stock Fan Theories.
Edited by RustBeard on Jul 24th 2021 at 11:52:22 AM
Epileptic Trees is about fan theories for a work that get so elaborate and convoluted that something like "maybe the trees are having/causing seizures?" is both common and even semi-plausible, even if unlikely. It's partially a reflection of the work itself, a show like Lost is more like to have that than The Office (US). Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory is those kind of theories but set up as some grand explanation for everything.
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How well does it match the trope?