Follow TV Tropes

Ask The Tropers

Go To

Have a question about how the TVTropes wiki works? No one knows this community better than the people in it, so ask away! Ask the Tropers is the page you come to when you have a question burning in your brain and the support pages didn't help. It's not for everything, though. For a list of all the resources for your questions, click here.

Ask the Tropers:

Trope Related Question:

Make Private (For security bugs or stuff only for moderators)

Fighteer MOD
11th Jun, 2019 12:59:37 PM


The mere existence of Unexpected Character as a trope makes me want to cry a little. It's an audience reaction, so of course different people will find different things "expected" vs. "unexpected". Adjudicating exactly how unexpected a character needs to be to qualify is an exercise in madness. I'd be fine with cutting the whole thing, but curating it... no, no way.

11th Jun, 2019 01:22:48 PM

That's another thing on my mind. How can you possibly properly curate or define a YMMV trope? By its very nature, interpretation and application of the trope varies based on he person. The idea of exactly defining it in the first place is already debatable. What does unexpected mean exactly? How can you objectively measure how many people's minds a character appearing in a work has or has not occurred?

While I would rather not cut the whole thing, as I hate getting rid of the hard work of others, I also see the logic of it, as curating such a trope does not make a great deal of sense by nature. Either way, this is why I am deferring to mods.

My main issue is that an attempted dichotomy was made where I believe there is none (which in itself is a YMMV opinion, I'll admit), but also that apparently "unlikely" =/= "unexpected". They're not the exact same, sure, but they can definitely be related. Something can be unexpected precisely because it is viewed as unlikely.

11th Jun, 2019 01:32:04 PM

The other thing heavily going against DQ Hero is the fact he (or rather Erdrick) was heavily leaked.

From a quick look at GameFAQs, practically every DLC prediction before today had a Dragon Quest representative.

11th Jun, 2019 01:40:06 PM

After looking at the edit history, I am compelled to ask mods how the entire page in general should be handled.

It seems that Boba_Fett88 was the author of the original editing blurb, as well as the troper who deleted much of the page due to enforcement of the meaning of Unexpected Character. This includes deleting the entries for Richter, Ridley, and others, as they allegedly appeared in some poll, forum, or online discussion in some way, thus automatically disqualifying them (the main reason Ridley was unexpected was due to Sakurai outright stating he didn't plan to include him before)

Unless one can canvas the entire internet, it seems based on this enforcement, characters such as Goku, Shrek, or the Grinch would also disqualify as unexpected characters if they were to hypothetically appear, due to the amount of high-profiling they have received in polls and forums. If we take this enforcement to the eventual extreme, no characters could possibly be considered as "unexpected."

I am not necessarily contesting this enforcement, just wanted clarification regarding it and see if mods agree with it.

Fighteer MOD
11th Jun, 2019 01:41:25 PM

Point of order: there is a difference between YMMV tropes and Audience Reactions. YMMV is something demonstrably in the work, but that is debatable or subject to controversy. An example is Complete Monster. An audience reaction is entirely in the minds of the audience. Unexpected Character is in the latter category, and by definition it's based on opinion.

We do not require explicit proof that such examples are valid; it's basically the honor system that they are opinions held by many people and not just the troper adding them. Applying concrete rules leads to madness. In general, audience reaction examples can only be contested if they do not fit the trope or if they factually misrepresent the work.

If you would like to start a cleanup thread of some sort for Unexpected Character, you are welcome to do so. I don't see any other way of keeping it sane.

Edited by Fighteer
11th Jun, 2019 01:46:30 PM

The DQ Hero example is currently a Zero-Context Example since it doesn't explain what makes him so unexpected.

11th Jun, 2019 03:34:28 PM

Someone added Banjo back, I re-removed it. Should we wait until we agree if they aren't or are an example before removing?

I think the removal of examples that brought this alleged misuse to attention was done unilaterally without any kind of approval. Does that effect the debate?

11th Jun, 2019 05:46:33 PM

I should add that Hero did have some semblance of unexpected, mainly that the default is not Erdrick like most leaks or rumors expected and the fact that no one really could have guessed his name. (Rarely do you expect a name as simple as "The Hero")

Smash in general has a bad habit of listing every single newcomer for the smallest aspect

11th Jun, 2019 06:41:35 PM

All this discussion really proves is that Unexpected Character needs a short waiting period.

11th Jun, 2019 06:48:42 PM

I think Banjo should be removed, at least. He was very common in character predictions, and Microsoft explicitly said they had no problems with Banjo being in the game in the past, so him being owned by them wasn't a factor.

11th Jun, 2019 07:14:45 PM

bwburke94 Agreed. Maybe something similar to Base-Breaking Character.

Ferot_Dreadnaught Ideally yes, but all it takes is some random person to happen upon the page, disagree with edits or entries done before their arrival, and undo/redo everything, which is essentially what has been done. Regarding B-K and DQ Hero, I think they should either both stay on or both leave the page.

Someoneman Commonality in online discussions does not necessarily indicate likeliness of appearing (looking at you, Goku and Shrek and even the Shaggy thing from MK 11). The biggest concern was B-K is not owned by a Japanese company or in a Japanese franchise at all, unlike Cloud, Ryu, or Joker. He is completely foreign to Japan in every way (like Shovel Knight).

Regardless, debating his status is no longer my primary point, but rather addressing the issue of curating Unexpected Character overall in the first place for the series, as well as whether unlikely = unexpected or not. Whatever boat B-K is in, I think DQ Hero could be as well.

11th Jun, 2019 07:16:04 PM

I'm more of a moderate stance. Fans will jump the gun quite quickly to claim a character is unexpected out of sheer hype and joy, which must be checked. However, I disagree with the removal of certain entries, particularly Ridley, for the reason I mentioned above. Fans essentially had literal Word of God as reason to not expect him to be playable. I'm a bit more conflicted regarding B-K and DQ Hero, as they were both super hyped, talked about, and desired by certain audiences, but again had similar reasons to be unlikely.

Forgive me for getting pedantic, but with how internet and marketing culture has evolved since Smash 64 was originally released, it would be nigh impossible to truly label any newcomer at this point as "unexpected" as you can bet there will have been a discussion about them somewhere online. And with DLC characters, people will constantly be discussing and speculating who the next character will be. Like Fighteer said, Unexpected Character is an Audience Reaction trope that simply uses an honor system and does not require explicit proof. No matter how much we argue, the trope itself is meant purely to reflect "general opinion" which is difficult to measure and curate.

I would like to note that both B-K and DQ Hero have entries on the And The Fandom Rejoiced page for Smash, which is probably much less controversial. Perhaps for the time being, we can focus on moving or limiting entries to that page.

12th Jun, 2019 01:15:35 AM

If you read the trope page for Unexpected Character, you'll get this sentence:

"In video games, these characters are also sometimes accused of "stealing" a character slot, especially if a more important or popular character is missing from the game."

The second part of this seems to imply that popular characters are exempt from this trope. The Laconic description (which I like to use whenever I'm in doubt) is "A character whom the audience knows, but has no reason to expect to appear". Basically, I thought it meant "Wow, I never would have thought of that guy!", not "Wow, I never thought he would get in!" Sakurai saying that Ridley will never be in doesn't change the fact that he was still one of the most wanted characters, which I would say is a reason to expect him to appear one of these days, especially after the ballot and after Villager made it.

When I said "characters who were known to be widely speculated or wanted", I thought I was pretty clear that I wasn't talking about when one person in a random private chat brings up NPC #14903 in Phantasy Star IV. Every Smash community has been discussing Banjo for decades now. Hero just happened to be revealed early in a manner that Nintendo didn't intend. If it wasn't for that, he wouldn't have been discussed as heavily as he was.

Just to be clear, I'm not trying to make up my own rules and police examples that legitimately say "Wow, I never would have thought of that guy!" because I saw a handful of other people predicting him. It's just that even YMMV tropes have standards (if they didn't, nothing would be stopping people from listing literally everyone), and I thought that the wording of the trope description meant no super-popular requests regardless of how realistic their chances were, because they probably did in fact think of that guy, as I explained in the blurb. I saw on the discussion page that two other people shared my opinion that the trope was being misused, so I cleaned it up. Maybe the trope description should be rewritten or the trope renamed to make things less confusing. Or it could be just me being stupid and reading too much into things. I've been known to do that, lol.

I've updated the blurb now to reflect my explanation.

Edited by Boba_Fett88

Example of: