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Rename: Big Damn Villains

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thatother1dude is afraid of all ghosts from Land of the Ill, Annoyin' Relationship Status: is commanded to— WANK!
is afraid of all ghosts
Nov 18th 2010 at 4:42:44 PM

The name suggests this is when a villain pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment (for whatever reason), but that's Villainous Rescue. This is when the heroes' problem is something they can't solve for moral reasons, and someone evil or amoral ends up doing it for them.

As you might expect, people are constantly including examples that are just Villainous Rescues, which makes sense given this name is completely inappropriate: the current name is a snowclone of one for a trope it's really not like, as it's not necessarily saving them from being killed or at the last moment.

Didn't this used to be called something like "Villains To The Rescue"? We could do better than that, but why was Big Damn Villains used instead?

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RocketScience Not dead yet. from a dark place
Not dead yet.
Nov 18th 2010 at 4:58:44 PM

The name Big Damn Villains is better off as a redirect to Villainous Rescue, since they refer to basically the same thing.

As for the new title, I don't know. Something like Spohie's Unchoice?

Dutchtica Doctor from Netherlands Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
troacctid "µ." from California
Dec 4th 2010 at 12:18:24 PM

Wait, you mean it's not Big Damn Heroes but with villains instead of heroes? What? BZZT BZZT BAD SNOWCLONE ALERT

Rhymes with "Protracted."
Dec 4th 2010 at 12:22:15 PM

With A Little Help From My Enemies

Perhaps a little long, and comes off like a needless reference to a song by The Beatles (which it is), but it's the best I can come up with at the moment.

A new name should also probably do a better job at distinguishing itself from Enemy Mine (which my suggestion does not).

edited 4th Dec '10 12:23:05 PM by SeanMurrayI

MoCellMan from Connecticut, USA
Dec 4th 2010 at 3:48:45 PM

[up] I like that, except that enemies goes both ways, whereas this is good guys saved by bad guys. Maybe With A Little Help From My Nemeses...well, I don't know about that grin Besides, nemesis kind of works both ways too. But something that indicates villains at the end would be an improvement, I think.

edited 4th Dec '10 3:49:54 PM by MoCellMan

Searching for plausible mechanisms.
Dec 4th 2010 at 4:08:12 PM

The way I see it, the only characters an audience would deem "enemies" are the main character's enemies, kind of like the way how the word "antagonist" is used to mean "enemy." ...Maybe it's a little bit of a stretch.

Then again, even in a Grey-and-Gray Morality tale, the word "villain" could go both ways.

MoCellMan from Connecticut, USA
Dec 4th 2010 at 4:11:54 PM

[up]For the audience, agreed. But this title comes off as speech from a character, and in that frame, I found "my enemies" somewhat ambiguous. Perhaps this is the best way to phrase it; I feel like there may be a better word, but it may just be me.

edited 4th Dec '10 4:12:04 PM by MoCellMan

Searching for plausible mechanisms.
thatother1dude is afraid of all ghosts from Land of the Ill, Annoyin' Relationship Status: is commanded to— WANK!
DragonQuestZ The Other Troper from Somewhere in California
The Other Troper
Dec 8th 2010 at 9:10:55 PM I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
Feb 8th 2011 at 2:43:43 PM

I think the distinction between this and Villainous Rescue is still not clear-cut enough, though, since at the moment it tries to emphasize the "villain must be doing something evil to save the day" part, which implies that it comes down to a subjective opinion on whether the villain's motives are villainous or not.

Very, very frequently, that line is deliberately vague — often the villain will say they did something for one reason, but there will be hints that it was done for another (a la "I Was Just Passing Through to rob the bank" when viewers might detect hints of Foe Yay as the real reason.)

I think a more important distinction is that Big Damn Villains involves the villain handling a Shoot the Dog moment. It does not imply that the villain is actually saving the day — Shoot the Dog is one of the most closely-related tropes to Big Damn Villains.

The heart of this trope is that the villain spares the hero a difficult moral choice by doing it for them. It's also heavily related to Karmic Death and its subtropes like Disney Villain Death, of course, which are likewise about avoiding a situation where the hero has to make a difficult moral choice.

edited 8th Feb '11 2:44:10 PM by Aquillion

Stratadrake Dragon Writer
Dragon Writer
Feb 8th 2011 at 3:04:59 PM

The snowclone makes sense if you interpret it as "Big Damn" (heroes being rescued) + "Villains" (those doing the rescuing). That being said, the tropes are counterparts while the names are complements, and that's the problem.

An Ear Worm is like a Rickroll: It is never going to give you up.
nrjxll Relationship Status: Not war
Feb 8th 2011 at 4:39:58 PM

This is almost the poster trope for bad snowclones, and as such I see no reason at all why it should not be renamed, and probably swapped with Villainous Rescue while we're at it.

Mar 15th 2011 at 4:19:01 PM

[up][up][up][up] I think I'd vote for Looks Like A Job For The Bad Guy or similar. It covers the need for the villain to act but doesn't say the act done is good or accidental.

jebuz I've been Bluelinked from Australia
I've been Bluelinked
Mar 15th 2011 at 8:14:21 PM

Another vote for Looks Like A Job For The Bad Guy. I don't see why a Villainous Rescue cannot involve evil actions / intentions. Really, this has nothing to do with that trope, because it is "Villain deals with a moral dilemma before the hero is forced to make a difficult choice".

Australia The country with a 2 party system But all the power with independents
nrjxll Relationship Status: Not war
Mar 15th 2011 at 11:02:00 PM

Well, my meaning was that Big Damn Villains sounds like the current meaning of Villainous Rescue. My suggestion was that we rename this to something like the suggested Looks Like A Job For The Bad Guy and rename Villainous Rescue to Big Damn Villains. I've come to feel that the latter is unnecessary snowcloning, though, so I say don't do it.

edited 15th Mar '11 11:02:39 PM by nrjxll

Jun 30th 2011 at 1:53:26 PM


Was misuse ever displayed? If not, it doesn't need a rename. If so, its crowner time.

Jun 30th 2011 at 3:33:00 PM

It was mentioned in the first post, but never overtly displayed.

nrjxll Relationship Status: Not war
Jun 30th 2011 at 5:43:26 PM

Give me a bit and I'll do a wick check. Anyone remember that formula for it?

edited 30th Jun '11 5:44:44 PM by nrjxll

Madrugada Zzzzzzzzzz Relationship Status: In season
Jun 30th 2011 at 5:53:00 PM

The square root of the number of wicks, or 50, whichever is larger; unless there are fewer than 50, in which case, do all of them.

In practice, unless there are more than 2500 wicks total, it's "all of them or 50", whichever is smaller.

edited 30th Jun '11 5:53:53 PM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
nrjxll Relationship Status: Not war
Jun 30th 2011 at 6:33:39 PM

So, checked the bottom 25 wicks (omitting anything on the Sugar Wiki and WMG pages, because I hate gushing and our WMG):

That's over 50% misuse of the non - X Just X examples. I'll do the other 25 tonight or tomorrow. Incidentally, does anyone know why Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds is suddenly "Woobie, Destroyer Of Worlds"?

edited 30th Jun '11 6:37:46 PM by nrjxll

Jun 30th 2011 at 7:01:03 PM

The Vampire Diaries example is correct. It's phrased poorly, but the villain does usually come in when the hero (his brother) is saying "Oh, I can't do this evil thing" and does it for him. In fact, at one point he flat-out says its his job.

nrjxll Relationship Status: Not war
Jul 1st 2011 at 2:00:02 PM

And here's the other 25 wicks.

Out of 50 wicks there are only 12 unambiguously correct uses, while 20 misuse it as Villainous Rescue. There's also 3 misuses of it as Big Damn Heroes for villains - villains rescuing other villains. Most of the remaining wicks are X Just X or otherwise unclear, but even if they're all correct (unlikely as that is) that's still a nearly 50% rate of misuse.

Stratadrake Dragon Writer
Dragon Writer
Jul 1st 2011 at 2:55:55 PM

The page image isn't helping, either.

Villain Shoots Dog?

edited 1st Jul '11 2:57:52 PM by Stratadrake

An Ear Worm is like a Rickroll: It is never going to give you up.
Jul 1st 2011 at 3:54:45 PM

[up] That's perfect. That's basically what this is. The Hero needs to Shoot the Dog, but he can't bring himself to do it, so the villain does it for him. Maybe its because he likes the hero or maybe he just really hates the dog; it doesn't matter. That title is perfect.

...except it could get misused for Shoot the Dog. Crap. Well, I still think it's good.

Alternative Titles: Big Damn Villains
17th Jul '11 5:19:19 PM
Vote up names you like, vote down names you don't. Whether or not the title will actually be changed is determined with a different kind of crowner (the Single Proposition crowner). This one just collects and ranks alternative titles.
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