Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Tropes: You Must Be Cold


Prom night, an occasion that all teens look forward to ... except for Josh and Kate, for their special date has ended with a busted car on the side of the road - and it's cold. Knowing that Kate's dress won't sustain her for long, Josh takes off his tuxedo jacket and wraps it around Kate's shoulders. +10 chivalry points earned tonight, Josh!

 
You Must Be Cold - The act of a character who sacrifices their personal comfort for someone else, usually in the form of clothing or blankets in the event of cold weather, but it can also extend to other items. This could either be used as a ploy to win the affection of another or a simple act of genuine kindness, or for other, more nefarious reasons ...

Of course we know that it was Cal who gave Rose his jacket in Titanic, not Jack, but Rose wouldn't have possessed that special gem without it. 

This trope tends to favor guys giving their jackets to girls. Perhaps a difference in muscle mass has something to do with that ... either that or the giver is undead and doesn't need it in the first place.

"Why didn't you give this to me sooner? Jerk ..."

More often than not, this trope finds a way of bringing a feuding couple together, and can add a sincere, touching moment to an otherwise slapstick-filled adventure in space. Right, Lone Starr?

"The cold never bothers me ..." *shiver*

What if the villain offers his coat to his captive beauty? There's all kinds of creep factor that can be used here, not to mention "that awkward moment" when the hero comes to save the day ...

"Looks like you'd rather NOT freeze ... eh, Jenny?"

This trope should not be confused with The Comforting Comforter, as that usually involves a character tucking in or laying a coat or blanket on someone while they're asleep. Like any trope, the trick is knowing when to use it, or how to subvert it. Bundle up. It's cold out there.

When have your characters shed an article of clothing to comfort another? Where else have you seen this trope in action?

I'm David, and you can have my hoodie ... if you catch me!

28 comments:

  1. Haven't used it. Not much call for coats on a desert planet.

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  2. My superhero character and her boyfriend share her cape while they're in chilly Russia if that counts.

    I love that part in Titanic where Cal shouts to his butler, "I put the jacket on her...I put the diamond in the jacket!!!" D'OH!

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  3. In Twilight, the second one, there is a variation of this when Edward lets Jacob be Bella's personal heater during the snow storm while in the tent. So this trope could include draping people on one another.... :-)

    Interesting series!!

    Jeannie
    the character therapist TM

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  4. I think this trope is hot. (Hahaha)

    BTW, I finished my first round of revisions! BOO-YA! Did I win? Did I win?

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  5. I was dating a guy in college, walking with him on the sidewalk, when another guy comes and wraps his coat around me because I was obviously cold. The guy I was with was miffed he didn't think of it. The coat guy...well, I ended up marrying him. :) I love this trope!

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  6. Come to think I've never used this in my writing. I do steal hubby's jacket every Sunday at church though.

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  7. Ah, I used it in my first book, We Hear the Dead. In this case, the gentleman turned around and offered his coat to a girl he thought was shivering with shock and fear, thus simultaneously ending a creepy moment and demonstrating that he HAD noticed her, when she thought he was paying her no attention at all.

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  8. Yup, I've seen this trope and have used variations of it in my writing. (:

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  9. I offer my wife my coat all the time...isn't that what guys are supposed to do? :)

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  10. You definitely see that trope a lot of times in movies and TV. I haven't seen it as much in books.

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  11. I have not used it yet, but I think it is something ingrained in our culture. Men hate to see women cold. :)

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  12. This was really humorous. I particularly liked, "Why didn't you give me your jacket sooner, Jerk!"
    I haven't used that trope (but, hmm . . , maybe in book two of my MG mystery series, I can have Rusty give Imogene his jacket.)

    Thanks for the idea, David!

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  13. Never thought of that as a trope, but of course it is! And of course I've used it. It is sort of a chivalrous act, though in real life I don't know if I've ever seen a guy actually give up their coat for anyone. Maybe I'm hanging out with the wrong guys!!

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  14. Well now that you mention it, I simply must find an opportune time for my MC to shed clothing for another. Thanks for the reminder!

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  15. Never had a guy offer me his coat!
    Instead, they usually pull theirs more tightly around themselves and ignore my shivering.
    Guess that's the inevitable legacy of "girl power"...Haha:D

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  16. I've never had a guy give me his coat either, but that's probably b/c I'm a New England girl and always appropriately dressed for the weather ;) I know, boring. Maybe I should go out in the snow in a t-shirt sometime and see what happens.

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  17. You always point out tropes I don't really notice. You're awesome, David! I love visiting your blog. I haven't used this one, but I've so many books I still need to write.

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  18. There was a scene in Return TO Me. lol Sandie

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  19. I've actually used it! (The book will probably never leave the darkest place of my computer). But I used it! LOVE the Spaceballs reference! :) Though I admit, one of my ex-boyfriends - I loved the zip-up sweatshirt he gave me when I was cold once and it was so comfy. I hated to give it back, but I was nice and gave it back.

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  20. Don't think I've used it, yet. Will have to find something unique, like her throwing him the keys to her Harley, just to be different! :)

    Interesting thoughts!

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  21. I love your examples. I don't think I've used this one.

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  22. I don't think I've used this one. Too many warm weather climates in my books, but I love the examples!

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  23. I use this in one of my novels, but it's the girl who gives the blankets to the guy...never realized I did that until now. Good trope.

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  24. i've missed so many posts!
    love your top family movies! shrek shouldve been on mine too. Toothless!

    excellent entry for the blog hop above.

    and i like this trope =) romantic!

    i also came across another trope... a person says, "i think he likes you," indicating their pet to show their true feelings.

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