Tropes And Idioms

The power of wikis is used perfectly on this one, it’s a directory of plots, tropes and idioms used when writing tv scripts. Funny as hell and pretty thorough.

  • Catch phrase sprouting duo A pair of young slackers who provide a steady stream of neologistic slang for America’s youth. Examples: Bill and Ted, Wayne and Garth, Beavis and Butt-head, Jay and Silent Bob.
  • Obi Wan The goal of the Obi Wan is to pass the torch to the Main Character before he or she bites it. Which he almost always does.
  • The Khan A Camera Trick where the camera is placed directly over the actor, pointing down, while the actor looks up into the camera. The camera pulls away, while spinning. Attributed to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, where William Shatner screams “KHAAAAAAAAANNNNN!!!!!!”

    A classic:

  • The Red Shirt A Red Shirt is the good cousin of the evil minions – set filler for our heroes’ side. Their purpose is almost exclusively to give the writers someone to kill who isn’t a main character, although they can also frequently serve as spear carrier. They are often used to show how the monster works. Named for the color of shirt always worn by the innumerable nameless security personnel on the original Star Trek series, whose only job was get eaten/ shot/ stabbed/ disrupted/ frozen/ desalinated, and give William Shatner or DeForest Kelly a corpse to ‘emote’ over.

    One for MJ :

  • The Kimberly A character so idiotic that you really start to hope he or she dies, even though she is ostensibly a protagonist. Named for 24’s “Kim Bauer” character, who has an annoying habit of getting trapped by mountain lions, wandering around bra-less in wifebeaters around potential rapists, and doing everything in her power to anger men with guns.

    Oh and I need to use this one:

  • Phlebotinum is the magical substance that may be rubbed on almost anything to cause an effect needed by a plot. Some examples: nanotechnology, magic crystal emanations, pixie dust, a sonic screwdrive


John March 16, 2004

Hey, Sean Penn won an Oscar doing the SkyCam scream shot so I guess you go with what works.

Martine March 16, 2004

I saw that yesterday as well and I got discouraged to see that no matter what you write, it’s going to be listed in that damn directory…

John March 16, 2004

On second thought, The Khan didn’t involve a spinning SkyCam at all. Just a tight close-up of Kirk’s face and him screaming into his communicator with the second shot being the surface of the moon as his “Khaaan!” seemingly echoed through space.

(The Space Channel ran “Wrath of Khan” recently so the scene is fresh in my mind. Oh, and I’m a nerd.)

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