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Mar 22nd 2021 at 6:48:49 AM •••

Linking to a past Trope Repair Shop thread that dealt with this page: What to do with, started by nuclearneo577 on Jun 22nd 2011 at 12:00:15 AM

Mar 20th 2021 at 10:09:02 AM •••

Previous Trope Repair Shop thread: Misused, started by Spyspotter on Aug 4th 2015 at 8:54:16 PM

Mar 20th 2021 at 9:28:02 AM •••

Previous Trope Repair Shop thread: Misused, started by superboy313 on May 5th 2017 at 12:44:49 AM

Feb 11th 2021 at 3:12:06 AM •••

Not sure if Luna is an Esemble Dark Horse, since she has an significant role.

Sep 14th 2020 at 6:03:25 PM •••

While I get that this trope would be hard to illustrate with a still image, isn't the current image blatantly Just a Face and a Caption?

I mean, I get the pun, but it doesn't actually illustrate the trope.

Edited by SomeRandomBastard
Sep 27th 2018 at 9:37:37 PM •••

While it is awesome to have some minor characters become this significant trope. What are the criterias to make that person this trope sufficiently?

Jan 22nd 2017 at 8:05:25 AM •••

I've got to ask - what's the pun?

From somebody outside the MLP fandom, I don't get it.

Is that character really popular enough?

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Jan 22nd 2017 at 12:45:34 PM •••

You dont have to be part of the MLP fandom... Theres an ensemble, and in it theres a horse that is dark.

I think its purely a visual pun, though. Its a concept that would be nearly impossible to visualize.

Jan 22nd 2017 at 11:59:31 PM •••

Huh, that's all there is to it?

Gah, fair enough. Thank you.

Oct 26th 2016 at 7:08:18 PM •••

Well done Brony fandom! Personally I think that image is a great pun and a good example descriptor. I hope it remains for a good while.

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Nov 14th 2016 at 6:14:08 PM •••

Meh. I see some artifacting and while I think it's okay, I would suggest a quality upgrade.

Dec 5th 2015 at 2:41:45 PM •••


Is somebody butchering this page? Where did the Strongbad quote go?

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Nov 29th 2014 at 11:44:02 AM •••

What's the difference between an Ensemble Darkhorse and a Breakout Character?

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Nov 29th 2014 at 12:36:27 PM •••

Breakout Character is when a minor character becomes a major one in a story.

Ensemble Darkhorse is when a minor character is unexpectedly popular in the audience.

Nov 29th 2014 at 6:49:25 PM •••

So how come a Breakout Character can be used in the list of tropes, while an Ensemble Darkhorse has to be used in the YMMV section?

Nov 30th 2014 at 2:09:42 AM •••

"In a story" <-> "in the audience". The former is a trope, the latter is an Audience Reaction.

Dec 25th 2014 at 8:05:38 PM •••

Doesn't something have to be an Ensemble Darkhorse first before it can become a Breakout Character?

Dec 25th 2014 at 9:21:50 PM •••

Not necessarily. If, say, the creators like the character and audiences don't care so much, then they wouldn't be an Ensemble Darkhorse but they can become a Breakout Character.

On the flip side, a character can be a huge Ensemble Darkhorse for the fandom, but if the creators don't do anything with them, they won't be a breakout character.

Is there overlap? Assuredly. But you can be one without being the other.

Edited by
Nov 26th 2013 at 12:03:08 PM •••

Does anyone think that Pokemon deserves its own ensemble darkhorse page? I think the amount of darkhorses is big enough to warrant its own page. We should probably add sections for it based what generation the pokemon came from, as well as a seperate section for human characters.

Edited by
Aug 10th 2013 at 12:05:22 PM •••

Why is this called Ensemble Dark Horse instead of just Dark Horse?

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Feb 11th 2014 at 5:38:03 PM •••

Because you have to imagine that of the ensemble of characters in there who aren't a major focus, that one particular character stands out in a race of their own. Hence they're a dark horse and achieved a victory by measure of popularity.

Mar 23rd 2013 at 11:28:37 AM •••

As much as I like Homestar Runner I think we should change the quote. Strong Bad is not, and never was, a minor character.

Nov 3rd 2011 at 11:18:59 AM •••

This page needs an image. I nominate Princess Luna from Friendship Is Magic. [1]

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Nov 3rd 2011 at 11:22:58 AM •••

The trope can't be properly illustrated.

Apr 21st 2013 at 5:53:25 PM •••

But wouldn't it be just a face and a captain?

Oct 19th 2011 at 3:40:24 PM •••

Is this still a YMMV trope if the people in the show acknowledge it? Karl Pilkington on The Ricky Gervais Show is a big example. Ricky and Steve talk about this frequently within the show.

Jul 16th 2011 at 3:02:33 AM •••

Underdog sports team under the Real Life section just bugs me. Pulling out an unlucky victory IS NOT this trope IMO. To fit into Ensemble Darkhorse trope you need to be an out of focus supporting cast who gain a lot of fanbase with the minimum screentime you have. Political race makes sense because it is a popularity poll comparable to popularity poll of characters in fiction, but sports is different because it is Earn Your Happy Ending and you can clinch some win without any fanbase at all

Apr 3rd 2011 at 7:31:18 AM •••

Why is this considered subjective? Character popularity is a fact, especially if you can back up it with a popularity poll result.

In the the Characters Page of Katekyo Hitman Reborn, I added this trope in the section dedicated to Fran, since he seldom appears but in the latest poll in Japan he came 9th. This isn't my opinion: the fact that he is popular is a fact (9th place IS high, right?), and the fact he doesn't appear much is a fact also. Yet, my entry was deleted.

I would like to hear the reason of this, because it doesn't make any sense to me.

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Apr 8th 2011 at 3:54:27 PM •••

It's not really "subjective", but in general, YMMV tropes fall under two categories:

Your addition fell into this second category. Yes, the character is popular among the fanbase. However, to a person viewing the work, this "fact" is something that they would not be able to see from the work itself.

Apr 25th 2011 at 7:24:42 PM •••

  • He kidnapped, starved and raped a woman because he had a hardon for her after glimpsing her once trapping her into eternal — and we mean eternal — marriage. He may not have been able to kill Persephone by denying her food, but it clearly wasn't enjoyable since she eventually broke down. And later cheated on her. 'Okay guy' indeed.
    • This is Values Dissonance at its finest. What we see as kidnapping was a marriage ceremony in Ancient Greece. What Hades did is do it without the mother being aware. Basically, it was the modern version of eloping. And Hades never actually cheated on Persephone. He tried, once, which is a good deal better than... umm... everyone else in Greek mythology. Persephone got to the nymph before Hades though, so he didn't actually successfully cheat.
    • This depends on what version of the myth you take. In some versions, Persephone actually intended to seduce Hades, and wished to remain with him, due to her overprotective mother. This is outside the fact that marriage was viewed as an "abduction" of sorts to begin with by the Greeks. As for cheating on Persephone? Hades chased two nymphs. TWICE in his life he tried to cheat, only once did he succeed. Persephone herself kept Adonis as her pet for a third of every year (Aphrodite got another third and he was free in the final third). Hades didn't do a thing to Adonis. So, I think it's fair to call it even.


MetaFour MOD
Apr 10th 2010 at 9:34:53 PM •••

Does a character's popularity need to last to make them qualify as an ensemble darkhorse?

I'm thinking of the Gunnerkrigg Court fandom, where any character aside from Annie or Kat who becomes the focus of a chapter will suddenly become the fandom's collective favorite, until the next chapter rolls around and a new favorite character comes into focus.

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Aug 4th 2010 at 6:08:01 PM •••

I don't think so. Let's say a character is an Ensemble Darkhorse temporarily, and then when the writer gives then more screentime, the fanbase decides they don't like the character anymore. That character was still an Ensemble Darkhorse, even though it didn't last, and I think the same logic applies to the example you give here.

Mar 27th 2010 at 10:03:44 AM •••

There seems to be someone out there on a crusade to eliminate Ensemble Darkhorse entries for characters he doesn't consider to be minor enough to qualify. He seems to have missed this line in the description:

"It can also refer to a lead character who wasn't intended to be any more noticeable, stranger, or more likable than the rest of the cast, but manages to become a clear fan favorite in any case. "

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Apr 10th 2010 at 10:01:58 PM •••

That part is a recent addition (Oct 31, 2009 for a trope that has existed for more than three years) by someone who was probably acting on his own.

I say excise it since it just muddles the definition and continue removing main character examples.

Edited by Servbot
Mar 13th 2010 at 1:08:41 PM •••

BPence89 - Is there a trope for when the writer basically says "Fuck you" to fans of the Ensemble Darkhorse?

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