The 48 tropes found in Something Fresh


Version 2.0 of Wodehouse Trope-ical Bingo is still in development, but you can see here two sample cards displaying all 48 tropes identified in Something Fresh. It’s a bit of a stretch to identify 48 and requires mining both the UK and the US versions, but these choices are defendable. I would have liked to have found 72 tropes in all, but even for Plum that might be a bit of a stretch. The explanations for the tropes are below. Several of these were taken from the annotations to be found at Madame Eulalie. To qualify as a trope, it has to be found in at least three Wodehouse novels or short stories.

1. All Possible Worlds: Any reference to “the best of all possible worlds” — the favourite saying of Pangloss , a character in Voltaire’s Candide

2. All’s Right: Any part of Robert Browning’s Pippa Passes
The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven—
All’s right with the world!

3. American Millionaire: Any reference to a wealthy American

4. Breach of Promise: Any mention of the punitive aspects of calling off an engagement

5. Bric-a-brac: Any delicate object, probably made of porcelain, broken in the course of the story

6. Brooding Dane: Any Shakespeare reference or quote

7. Butterfly Wing: Any reference to tying a tie

8. Chorus Girl: Any complication arising from a character being a chorus girl

9. Damning Letters: Any missives that could later cause trouble

10. Detective Story: Any mention of a detective story

11. Dumb Chum: Any reference to a cat or dog physically present

12. Durance Vile: Any time someone is exiled to Blandings

13. Elementary: Any reference to Sherlock Holmes

14. Fallen Fortunes: Any character formerly of wealth fallen on hard times

15. Geologic Time: Any reference to deep time

16. Gilbert & Sullivan: Any reference to the comic operas of

17. Golf: Any mention of golf

18. Health Cure: Any character undergoing a course of treatment

19. Hosts of Midian: Any reference to the Midianites from the bible

20. Impostor: Someone claiming to be other than he/she is

21. Inside Job: Any time someone inserts themselves into a residence to effect a burglary

22. Latin Fine Points: Any discussion of the finer points of Latin

23. Legalese: Any use of lawyerly language

24. Maelstrom: Any reference to this watery disturbance

25. Mammoth Publishing: Any mention of the Mammoth Publishing Company

26. McGuffin: Any object desired by many

27. Obsessive Hobby: Any mention of an obsessive hobby

28. Overheard: Any overheard conversation

29. Oxford Blue: Athletic achievement at university

30. Publishing Magnate: Any publisher of wealth

31. Pushing Plate Away: Any character forced not to indulge

32. Reading Aloud: Any time a character reads aloud to another character

33. Ridiculous Coincidence: Any coincidence stretching the bounds of credulity

34. Russian Troubles: Any mention of the troubles afflicting Russians

35. Saint Benard Dog: Any reference to this animal

36. Second Son: The prospects of any younger son

37. Secret Society: Any mention of a secret society

38. Senior Conservative Club: Lord Emsworth’s Club

39. Snack Thief: Any character who obtains or delivers food by stealth

40. Stepping Stones: Any part of Tennyson’s In Memoriam A H H
I held it truth, with him who sings
To one clear harp in divers tones,
That men may rise on stepping-stones
Of their dead selves to higher things.

41. Stomach Lining: Any character with digestive problems

42. Stout Cortez: Any part of John Keats’ On first looking into Chapman’s Homer
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Pacific—and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

43. Swedish Exercises: Funny looking exercises

44. Taking a Risk: Any character gambling on adventure

45. Title Drop: Whenever the title of the story appears in the prose

46. Unjustly Accused: Any character unjustly accused

47. Winning Imitation: Any performance of an imitation that succeeds

48. Woman’s Smile: The effect of the female upon the male at a vulnerable time

One thought on “The 48 tropes found in Something Fresh

  1. Pingback: A Damsel in Distress for July 12 | The Denver of the Secret Nine

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