Follow TV Tropes
Linking to a past Trope Repair Shop thread that dealt with this page: Needs Help, started by Likely on Mar 30th 2012 at 5:49:59 AM
Okay, just WHAT is the trope namer of Tomato Surprise and Tomato in the Mirror? There's not a single mention in either article anywhere, though I think they may come from Mayor West from Family Guy thinking he's a tomato after a brick to the nose causes it to bleed.
It's a bit from Sesame Street where Grover is a waiter at an upscale restaurant. The skit goes on with Grover trying to convince a guest to try the day's special, "Tomato Surprise." While the diner is left to assume that the meal will be some kind of tomato-based dish, eventually Grover returns with the surprise — an anthropomorphic tomato creature who will be joining whoever orders the special as an additional member of their party. The guest then faints, leaving the tomato creature to order lunch while he is out of commission.
How does the page image illustrate the trope exactly?
Yeah, the current (twilight zone) one hardly demonstrates the trope whatsoever. The original image (an image from Sponge Bob, specifically the episode "Hall Monitor", when Sponge Bob finds out he was the "maniac") was a lot more understandable, and was a better example, especially since it comes from a series plenty of people nowadays would recognize.
I'd personally take it to Image Pickin', but I have no clue how, so I'll do the next best thing; complain on the Discussions page! Take THAT, image pickers who okayed that change!!
I don't think it should count as a Tomato Surprise when the narrator describes a situation where he didn't know the important detail at first. For example, in "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)," "Silhouettes," and "Fool in the Rain," the narrator was not aware of the true situation at the time of the events described at the beginning of the song. Only over the course of the events described did the narrator realize that he was corresponding with his own girlfriend, looking at the wrong house, or waiting on the wrong block.
I'm not sure if these ones belong here:
These feel like All Just a Dream endings to me as they are also a suprise to the protaganists.
^ You're right; cut 'em. This entire page needs a major cleanup, many of the examples here are really Tomato in the Mirror or just plain Twist Ending.
I've reviewed the TV section and removed the following examples, which don't fit the definition of a Tomato Surprise, because the revelation comes as just as much of a surprise to the characters as to the audience:
In addition, the following are examples of Tomato in the Mirror, rather than Tomato Surprise:
As further cleanup, I've removed the following from the Film section:
All of the above involve surprise revelations to the characters themselves, not just the audience. This is, appropriately, a rather rare trope in films, due to the difficulty of concealing something obvious from the audience but not the characters.
I made some changes:
The endings to Fight Club and The Sixth Sense and Planet of the Apes feel like regular old twist endings to me. They're not in the same vein as Twilight Zone - The Eye of the Beholder - they don't dramatically reveal something every character knows. At the end of The Sixth Sense Malcolm is just as shocked as the audience.
So I went ahead and axed some examples, and removed this note:
"sometimes, [the twist] has been hidden from one character, so that subject will be just as surprised as we are."
And added this note:
"If the twist comes as a surprise to one or more protagonists, it probably doesn't fit this trope."
If the twist surprizes both the reader and the protagonist, what trope is it?
I'd like to add the short story "A Man Who Had No Eyes" by Mac Kinlay Kantor. The plot, briefly, is this: It's about a blind beggar who tells how he became blind to a rich man. The beggar explains that he used to be able to see, but he worked in a chemical factory. One day there was a fire, and as everyone ran out, the beggar was knocked down and trampled by a larger man. He escaped in time to avoid being burned, but he was blinded by the chemical fumes. The twist ending is that his story is a lie. The rich man worked at the same plant, and he is the one who was knocked down and trampled by the beggar. The beggar then screams that it is unfair that he had gotten out in time but was blinded, while the man he knocked down was not only all right, but went on to become rich. The rich man then said, "I don't know what you're complaining about. I'm blind too." The twist comes as a surprise to both the reader and the protagonist.
I would agree with timeforgot's narrow interpretation of this trope. In a typical Twist Ending, there is key information that is concealed from at least some of the characters (and the audience), which is then revealed, to the surprise of those characters (and the audience). When the twist is fundamental enough, The Ending Changes Everything. What distinguishes a Tomato Surprise is that there is NO surprising revelation to the characters involved, just to the audience. If any of the characters are just as surprised as the audience, it's just a vanilla Twist Ending.
I think the twists at the end of "A Man Who Had No Eyes" are a use of Unreliable Narrator with an extra ...And That Little Girl Was Me twist.
George Scithers was never the editor at Analog. He was the editor at Asimov's in the time frame discussed.
The SC Conviction one shouldn't be here; it's pretty obvious what's going on.
In the Atmosphere song "Yesterday", it appears at first that the narrator is speaking about a past lover who left him on bad terms, and couldn't reconnect with despite the long time they'd known each other. It is revealed at the end, however, that he is actually talking about his deceased father. And the song becomes awesome.
Regarding the following:
In Shutter Island, we find out that the main character is actually a patient of the island, playing a part in a complex role play in the hopes it will make him face his disease. It doesn't.
I got the distinctly opposite impression to the final conclusion of this, being that the protagonist has finally accepted the truth of his condition, but rather than live with the knowledge of what he has done, he "chooses" to undergo the lobotomy so that he won't have to.
I was of the same opinion. It still fits this trope, though.
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?