Cats Illustrate Tropes of Law & Order: SVU
"Tropes: a common storytelling method. A plot twist, a setup, a narrative structure, a character type... you know it when you see it." (Author's note, I love SVU, this is all affectionate teasing.)
- •Someone 'happy to help' leaves the detectives at their (slightly ajar) front door, saying "Let me just get my [noun]." The detectives have a brief exchange of words before realizing, completely surprised, this unsupervised person ran to their back door to escape."Of course, officers. Let me get my purse."
- •A rich, protective parent (usually the mother) or the family lawyer interrupt the investigation of of a minor who is a suspect, and take them home. He's always a good kid, according to the parents. They don't know their child very well."Johnny could never do something like this. Let's go, honey."
- •The victim says "You don't understand [what I'm going through]!" to a member of the squad. "Actually," they reply, and happen to have an almost identical story from their life to illustrate their understanding."Actually, I do understand. That exact experience happened to me."
- •Returning to a victim (typically teen) at home. The door to the bed or bathroom is locked. They don't answer a knock/calling of name. They don't answer escalating prompts. Suddenly, everyone looks at each other and understands the situation. A detective breaks down the door with their shoulder. Inside the victim committed suicide, or is trying."Ashley, are you in there? ... Ashley, honey?!"
- •A witness or defendant in court burst out in a loud, emotional confession that proves their guilt immediately. (Shout out to Stabler in the very first episode for starting this trope with great success.)"No, no! He's lying, I can prove it!" "Order in the court!" *Gasps*
- •At the end of the episode one detective is still at their desk, claiming to do forms for the case. This indicates they are feeling a negative emotion. Another detective reaches out, encouraging them to leave, by saying "C'mon, the paperwork can wait.""Go home, [detective]. It's late." "I'm just finishing up this paperwork... what?"
- •Fin asks about something technical or new the team is using, and then compares it to something we all understand, thus explaining it to the audience."So, it's a new school version of [basic technique.]" "Exactly."
- •A fake website name is used in lieu of Facebook, Craigslist, a dating site, etc."Okay people, listen up. We know he had multiple profiles on [fake site name] contacting the victim and others."
- •A kid and/or their parents really wants that acceptance to Hudson University, although it seems like THE most crime-ridden school on earth."He has a scholarship to Hudson, you can't mess this up!"
- •Munch has a conspiracy theory about the episode's topic."Say what you will, but..."
- •Good cop, bad cop interrogations based on gender."Look man, I get it. Women, am I right?"
- •Olivia's life is in danger but she manages to use her brains and training to make it out alive just in time."You okay, 'Liv?" *Shaken but still awesome.* "Yeah... yeah."