Author Filibuster

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"Whew, glad we caught that one in the bud."


An Author Filibuster is the extreme Anvilicious case of Writer on Board, where the plot stops dead in its tracks to give the author an opportunity to preach their message to the readers or audience, often very political or ethical in nature.

It's worth noting that writing a work of fiction neither adds nor subtracts evidence from a point of view. It may display evidence, it may make an argument using that evidence, it may convince the reader using that evidence. Authors should remember though a work of fiction doesn't prove anything. The fact that the author expects us to take their fictional world as instantly applicable to real life is part of what makes the trope so grating.

If this is the climax of the book, it's often a case of Talking the Monster to Death.

If a character is delivering the rant, it's also a Character Filibuster. If the author's opinion is the purpose of the work, it's an Author Tract. A main cause of Don't Shoot the Message. Whether or not any specific reader considers an Author Filibuster a good or bad thing is usually dependent on whether or not said reader agrees with the content of the filibuster, although this is not always the case.

Examples of Author Filibuster include:


Anime[edit | hide | hide all]

  • The infamous final two episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion are essentially an Author Filibuster on the human condition and the nature of loneliness.
    • The Movie End of Evangelion was pretty much the same, just not taking place on a "giant blue ball" and was... arguably even more confusing.
    • Due in part to the Mind Screw, what exactly the Author Filibuster is arguing is a topic of hot contention in the fanbase
  • In an early chapter of the Excel Saga manga, Il Palazzo takes a few pages to rant about how he feels Christianity has had a negative influence on the world. The anime parodies this by Excel suggesting they skip that scene to avoid controversy. A lampshade is hung by Excel in the manga: "I think we may have just offended a large portion of the world's population..."
  • The original Ghost in the Shell manga had an entire ending consisting of little more than the author's existential musings thinly packaged in abstract screen toned "art". However, this philosophical payload was cleverly hidden inside an espionage series, and anyone who didn't see where it was going after Kusanagi beheld the falling feather have only themselves to blame.
    • This is a common feature in all of Shirow Masamune's manga. He is famous for including extensive commentaries at the end of volumes, the 30-page commentary in Ghost in the Shell being the most famous example. He will also often break the fourth wall by adding his own personal comments in the margins, ranging from the technical aspects of gadgets included in the story, to subjects like the nature of human souls and the organization of Japan's military. These commentaries will often only have a loose connection to what actually goes on in the story. Ghost in the Shell II is probably the best example, as ~1/4th of all pages have some sort of commentary in the margins.
  • A recent chapter of Hajime no Ippo includes a several page long speech about how great the environment is, how everybody should do their part to protect it, and how pollution and industrial emissions are evil. It is then shortly followed by the introduction of a new character whose entire goal is to spread this exact message to the world.
  • The manga Gimmick! has a rather glaring example of this, after a flashback where Kohei takes a job to do special effects for a video game commercial, which turns out to be a government conspiracy that takes the commercial and re-edits it into a post-9/11 pro-war viral video. After the revelation that one of Kohei's friends from Hollywood joins the Iraq War because of it and gets killed, Kohei launches into a "Don't be fooled by images" rant about how Hollywood (and American media in general) is always sneaking subliminal messages into movies and commercials and such, saying how filmmakers just want to make movies, but executives keep interfering to cram their evil propaganda into every crack and crevice.


Comics[edit | hide]

  • In a 1945 Little Orphan Annie strip, Annie soliloquizes about the dreadful foster home she's been placed in. She sleeps in the attic, dresses in a cut-down maid's uniform, is allowed no friends or recreation, and has to take every irksome task from serving dinner to shoveling coal—basically she is treated as a slave or unpaid servant—but as she observes, it could be much much worse, because at least she's not in an orphanage sponging off the taxpayers.
  • As Jhonen Vazquez's comic Johnny the Homicidal Maniac went on, more and more text began appearing that dealt with the main character's philosophical doubts, to the point that the panels would usually carry more text than drawings.
  • As part of the legendary Creator Breakdown during the run of Cerebus, Dave Sim replaced parts of his comic with fine-print screeds detailing his legendary misogyny, which even diehard fans who continued to read the comic do their very best to ignore.
  • About seventy-five percent of all Doonesbury strips engage in this, though it generally sets up the "punchline".
  • The Boondocks comic occasionally falls into this (witness the series of strips, after the 2004 presidential election, where Huey calls out and insults every state where Bush won), but it's largely an Author Tract to begin with. The animated version can't really do this do due to Animation Lead Time, which is one of the many reasons why it's disliked by fans of the comic strip.
  • Steve Ditko may be a master comic book storyteller, but when he does not have a collaborator like Stan Lee to restrain him, his stories are notorious for his Objectivist philosophical lectures that dominate his more personal stories. The "Mr. A" stories are by far the worst, though "The Question" could be just as bad at times.
  • The five issues long series Warrior, a licensed comic about every Professional Wrestling fan's favorite crackpot, The Ultimate Warrior, is one great big Wall of Text after another meant to elucidate the reader on Warrior's bizarre mystical-reactionary philosophy, and paint Warrior as Jesus. Between the sheer density of the text and the preponderance of made up words (just what in the blue hell is "Destrucity", anyway?), it confused its few readers so badly that both the third and the fourth issues had to open with an explanation of the previous issues (with the recap on the fourth issue being a footnote and unreadable due to being black text on black paper). The one issue this doesn't apply to? The Christmas special, a completely dialog-less issue in which Warrior goes to the North Pole, puts Santa in bondage, steals his clothes and possibly rapes him. There's a reason that every wrestling fan on the planet has agreed that the guy is nucking futs. It's bad enough to mess with the space-time continuum!
  • In the final years of Chester Gould's Dick Tracy, the stories were notorious for the main character yammering about due process restrictions on the police to the point where the villains dropped dead just from this.
  • Matt Fraction's first issue of the Invincible Iron Man comic has young villain supergenius Ezekiel Stane, fresh from his latest round of building and selling WMDs to genocidal terrorists, stop to spend four pages testing out his latest weaponry on the board of directors of a tobacco company, while delivering a rant on a) the evils of smoking and b) why, despite Ezekiel's long list of crimes against humanity, he is still infinitely morally superior to people who grow and sell tobacco.
  • Oddly enough, the Doom comic (here) did this too, interrupting the plotless violence with a rant about how radioactive waste is killing the environment. This may well be a parody of the tradition, though, assuming that the comic is a parody to begin with.
  • Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan, whose main character's inflammatory news articles, while only sometimes political, and definitely in-character (insofar as Spider is an homage to Hunter S. Thompson), are too long and detailed to NOT also be the author's viewpoint.
  • Alan Moore responded to complaints about Promethea by saying something along the lines of, "There are hundreds of comics out there that aren't a didactic on magic, isn't there room for just one that is?"
  • Given that the character is the creator's Author Avatar, it's not hard to hear all of Elly Patterson's old school preaching, like how she doesn't like computers or malls taking away downtown commerce, and believe that it's Lynn Johnston speaking.
  • In Universal War One #5 and #6, various characters expose the author's political view on "american capitalism".
  • Garth Ennis can get into this. While it works in the context of the stories, Preacher (Comic Book) having the protagonists discuss how any God who made the world must be evil, Punisher having characters talk about the horrors of war and The Boys featuring long-winded Take That dialogue towards DC and Marvel style super heroes, there are also random, out of nowhere ones. In Preacher, Cassidy raves at Jesse about his distaste for the word 'insecure'. The Boys also has a scene where Butcher claims that every straight man is homophobic and anyone pretending otherwise is just lying.
  • Bill Watterson would sometimes do this with Calvin and Hobbes. It was better-executed than most versions, in part because the themes were frequently apolitical, in part because Watterson went after multiple targets and because of Watterson's innate storytelling skills.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Overlapping with And Knowing Is Half the Battle, Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent, like several other films of the era, ends with a call to Americans to enter World War II.
  • Steven Seagal finished off his movie On Deadly Ground by delivering an author filibuster... the uncut, ten minute version (the release version was three and a half) which caused test viewers to walk out. Check it out. Seagal commonly ends his movies this way. The trend started in his very first movie, Above the Law, where he spends the finale battling corrupt government agents, then after all is said and done, just before the end credits, he gives a short voice-over about how even in real life, the further up the chain of command you go, the more people you find that think they're...above the law. The key word here being "short"; On Deadly Ground was his directorial debut, presumably to make room for his ego.
  • Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator, in which the entire closing monologue is a statement of Chaplin's anti-war beliefs.
  • Parodied in Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway, in which David Shayne simply cannot help but write what he thinks is "important dialogue", but everyone else thinks is turgid.

Cheech: "A maze beset by brutal pitfalls!" Hey, Olive, I memorized it, and I'm tellin' ya, it comes to me all the time, and it stinks on fuckin' hot ice!

  • In the last 10 minutes of Clerks Kevin Smith's voice hops from one character to another basically every time someone opens their mouth. In fact, this tends to be the method by which he concludes all his films.
  • During a flashback scene in Saw VI, Jigsaw is standing in the office of William, an executive at a health insurance company who had just denied him an experimental treatment for his cancer (and who is the subject of the film's main trap). This causes Jigsaw to go into a rant attacking the health insurance industry, saying that they do the very same thing that conservatives fear socialized medicine will do—namely, take life-and-death decisions away from doctors and their patients by denying them coverage. He doesn't say "conservatives" or "socialized medicine," but the message is clear, and is repeated throughout the film, especially with the way that William gets killed.
  • Black Hawk Down suffers from this at points, where all of a sudden, one character or another will give a little speech to whoever's around justifying "why we're here", which is no doubt because it was backed by the Pentagon.
  • Birdemic twice brings all other activity in the film to a dead stop to lecture about environmentalism. These are just the densest clumps of the movie's almost relentless "message".
  • The Matrix sequels, The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions were heavily criticized for being full of lengthy philosophical pontifications by several characters, including Councillor Hamann, The Oracle, The Merovingian (twice), Agent Smith, and Morpheus.
  • Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), which was ostensibly a backstage drama about a season at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, keeps interrupting itself with various segments that have little to nothing to do with the characters, including unself-conscious circus performances (with many, many in-universe audience reaction shots that tend to undercut the fourth wall) and pure documentary scenes showing what carnival workers do, the latter of which are accompanied by verbose and frankly pompous descriptions by a "voice-of-God" narrator. The movie in general can't seem to decide what it wants to be, making it a fine mess. (Of course, it won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1953, so it's a little hard to gripe.)


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Atlas Shrugged has the definitive Author Filibuster in "This Is John Galt Speaking," where Ayn Rand gives her protagonist an opportunity to lecture the reader for sixty pages on end (eighty pages in the paperback edition); since he's taken over all channels, the Strawman Political villains are made to sit through it for three hours of plot time. There are several shorter examples in the same book, such as the sermon explaining that "If money is the root of all evil, then what is the root of all money? Virtue is the only thing that can give money any value. Is virtue the root of all evil?" In an example of Did Not Do the Research, Ayn Rand, in Atlas Shrugged, claims John Galt's radio monologue is only three hours. No one has ever been able to read, clearly and distinctly, the entire monologue aloud in less than SIX HOURS.
  • Howard Roark of The Fountainhead also gets a such an opportunity in his courtroom scene, and the last chapter of Anthem is essentially devoted to this purpose (Ayn Rand seems to do this a lot). These examples aren't quite as extreme as Atlas Shrugged—in book form. In the movie adaptation of The Fountainhead, Rand demanded that Roark's courtroom speech be performed exactly as she had written it (the version Rand wrote for the film's screenplay was significantly shorter than the book's version), resulting in a nearly six-minute long speech, one of the longest in film.
  • The Illuminatus! Trilogy parodies the filibuster in Atlas Shrugged with Telemachus Sneezed, mentioning that the last hundred and three pages are a soliloquy on the importance of guilt.
  • Louisa May Alcott admits in Little Women that she was guilty of this at one point. Her Author Avatar Jo's literary exploits include, in a backlash against Executive Meddling insisting that True Art Is Angsty, writing a book that failed because "it might more accurately have been called an essay or a sermon, so intensely moral was it".
  • In Deception Point, Dan Brown has several characters expose the pros and cons of letting NASA monopolize space exploration instead of opening it up to the private sector (though the arguments supporting NASA greatly outnumber the ones doing the opposite).
  • Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon seemed like the plot was a decent story about 2 estranged friends and looking for treasure, but it was kind of hard to tell under all the preaching and metaphors.
  • Agatha Christie in her final few novels.
  • Jack Ryan:
    • Tom Clancy espoused his world view at length in The Bear and the Dragon.
    • It started to become really obvious with Executive Order.
      • Justified trope in both novels given that at this point in the timeline Jack Ryan is a politician, and he's supposed to give speeches. Indeed, if Clancy always skipped over Jack actually making the speech and just cut to the results, President Ryan would zig-zag straight into the Informed Ability trope.
    • In a Tom Clancy book, John Clark thought to himself that a movie, implied to be Air Force One (which in reality did pretty well with critics), was a stupid movie that makes airport security overly diligent. This is most likely an indirect Take That at Harrison Ford, who Tom Clancy had hated as Jack Ryan.
    • In Debt of Honor a scene in one chapter takes place on a bullet train ride that a Japanese-American spy working for the CIA is riding on. Upon making observations about the passengers on the train, he concludes that he hates just about every aspect of the strange and morally debased Japanese culture and wants to go back home to the good ol' USA as soon as he can. It's pretty much disconnected from the rest of the plot.
      • In The Bear and the Dragon the same agent, on an undercover mission in Communist China,[1] does the same type of internal monologue about everything he finds wrong with their society. At this point it seems to be a character trait with the guy.
        • Fridge Brilliance: One of the problems deep cover agents have is emotionally identifying with the people they're infiltrating, in a Becoming The Mask sense. Perhaps the constant internal 'why I hate these people' rants are the character's coping mechanism for trying to avoid this. He even mentions this dilemma as the reason why he can't let himself be too sympathetic to the society he's infiltrating but is constantly worried too far in the other direction will make him ineffective. Further, his character is in contrast to an earlier deep cover agent Clancy wrote, which had the same problem but was able to deal with it better.
          • The other agent could regularly confer with his handler, meaning he had the psychological release of available confidant. Also, his cover allowed for regular trips out of the country. The first guy was stuck in the middle of Red China entirely alone for prolonged periods of time.
  • Also in the genre, the protagonist in the W.E.B. Griffen book, "The Hostage", Charley Castillo, thinks to himself that he likes Mel Gibson movies, and goes into detail about why, which has no relevance to the plot. It would come off strongly as product placement if Gibson was a product.
    • Mel Gibson movies are a product. People pay for copies of them and the production company makes money on them. I wonder if the author was paid, or if he was just a fan?
  • Michael Crichton's State of Fear left approximately half the key plot points unresolved in favor of the heroes making every rant possible on the subject of global warming. This was most strongly evidenced in the Non Sequitur Scene where one character has to babysit some guy who begins espousing social and media theories that have nothing whatsoever to do with global warming or anything else in the rest of the book (yet end up being what the book is named after).
  • Jurassic Park, Ian Malcolm spends better than half of his scenes in the book making pages-long speeches about the evils of modern science, despite the fact that he is supposedly dying at the time. There is occasionally a Hand Wave, like when Malcolm is cranked out of his mind on morphine, and is just babbling whatever thoughts come into his head. Lost World contains long philosophical digressions.
  • Michael Crichton's Next warns of the dangers of Big Genetics, hamfists the point in at every available opportunity, has an epilogue followed by a didactic author's note, just to make sure that the subtlety of his point could in fact cause a concussion.
  • Wakefield by Andrei Codrescu does this over and over on a wide variety of subjects, but at least has a certain self-knowledge. Kudos for when, after the main character gives a lengthy speech about the relationship between art and money, another character tells him he's "full of shit".
  • Bill O'Reilly's fiction book, from before he was really famous, Those Who Trespass, is basically one after the other, from two characters that essentially play two sides of his personality, one of which is a cold blooded killer who takes revenge on those who fired him from television, while the other is an Irish cop who blabs on about the errors he predicts in the OJ Simpson trial, which was a few months away in the book's time.
  • Emmanuel Goldstein's book in 1984, plus a drunken proletarian's rant against the metric system. The story of the novel is largely a Framing Device for Orwell's vision of the Dystopia, and said book-within-a-book can be skipped by the reader without missing anything important to the plot. He also spends about ten pages near the end of "1984" driving his free-thought, anti-communism message home, just in case the reader missed the thinly-veiled metaphor of the first hundred or so pages.
    • Not an anti-communism message, actually, but more of an anti-totalitarianism message.
  • The plot of Moby Dick is, basically, an excuse for myriad Author Filibusters about whaling, whaling culture, the anatomy of whales, and, of course, lots of sperm-wringing. Not to mention all the classical references.
    • Then there are those that interpret the whole book as an Author Tract about religion, where Ahab was trying to kill God by using Moby Dick as a substitute.
  • Vegetarians get their say in the second book of the Inheritance Cycle. Humorously, Paolini seems to have changed his mind in the mean-time, as Eragon rationalizes about eating meat in the third book. The anti-religion message was just as bad or worse. It looked like it was literally forced in—plot going on, scene change, random out-of-nowhere scene where Oromis makes some relatively basic atheism arguments that are treated as fact, scene change, back to the story's actual plot.
    • And then Eragon changes his mind about that as well!
    • It seems to go both ways. Elves tend to be a lot wiser and more attune to nature than any other creature because of the nature of their magic that bound their whole race in their blood oath with the dragons. As a result, they can't eat meat any more than a person could eat their own hand because they can feel the emotions from all the life around them, and if a creature dies, it feels like they themselves are dying along with it. They sing[2] to the trees to harvest fruits and vegetables that grow all the nutrition they need, so there's no need to butcher animals. With all their needs taken care of, the elves don't fight wars and most are content to keep to themselves and pursue whatever they fancy, be it writing, painting, or being a fish. However, when pressed, they will rise up together to fight off whatever force threatens them.
    • Dwarves, on the other hand, have their central religion and set of customs and traditions that probably vary between the clans and deep dwellers and can get very riled up if their beliefs are challenged, but they also have the most marvelous and luxurious empires in the entire continent, and as a social collective, they seem to have a lot more fun in life than the elves. On top of all this, dwarves might actually be right about their religion; in Brisingr, Eragon actually sees what could very well be their god.
  • Parodied in the original novel of The Princess Bride, when author William Goldman (in his guise as the alleged "editor") discusses how he cut out scores of pages of boring political lectures and discussions from the "original book".
    • Goldman parodies his own parody in the excerpts from Buttercup's Baby, (the sequel) that are provided in some editions of the novel - he describes in detail how a major stumbling block in getting his annotation of the sequel off the ground is the fact that Morgenstern's estate took a dim view of his chopping away Morgenstern's filibustering, as they view that as an integral part of the original work.
  • The final third of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle is a rambling treatise on the virtues of socialism. Most readers only noticed his nauseating descriptions of contemporary meat-packing practices. As Sinclair himself noted, he'd aimed for the country's heart, but hit its stomach.
  • Terry Goodkind's main characters in his Sword of Truth series frequently stop to give ranty, self-important speeches espousing a fantasy version of his Objectivist philosophy. The fact that he doesn't consider himself a fantasy writer adds a lot of weight to this one—even if the Aesops are invariably broken into little teeny pieces or completely demented to begin with.
  • Robert A. Heinlein was fond of these. In Starship Troopers his characters deliver several lengthy monologues on subjects like the death penalty (good), conscription (bad), corporal punishment (good) and disarmament (bad), while in Farnham's Freehold he has characters offer similar diatribes on topics including cannibalism (good; er, what?!) and African colonialism in the post-WWIII remains of the USA (good). In fact, one could make the blanket generalization that this is Heinlein's Signature Style.
    • In For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs, the entirety of the plot is a single lengthy aside sandwiched between the monologues on the death penalty (bad), corporal punishment (bad), and economics (complicated, but if you just do...) Note that For Us was his first book (even if it was only published after his death, as the manuscript had been lost for decades), and his tendency towards this lessened afterward—at least until he gained Protection From Editors.
      • He goes so far in the economics rant as to tell the reader to go gather a whole bunch of odds and ends to act out a model of his argument and see for themselves how right he is.
    • The Cat Who Walks Through Walls contains yet another example, wherein the two main characters stop what they're doing to discuss the virtues of libertarianism and how wrong-headed the alternatives are.
      • In fairness the protagonists are waiting for a train at the time and so have nothing else to do except argue, and they are both academics who love to argue.
    • "Prof" in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress; Oscar at the beginning and end of Glory Road; Lorenzo Smythe in Double Star; "Doc" in Red Planet.
    • Stranger in A Strange Land has diatribes from Jubal about the evils of organized religion. It's not really clear whether or not Heinlein was truly advocating the type of government he depicts in Starship Troopers, but Jubal really does seem to be a mouthpiece for the author.
    • He takes a twenty page break from the story in Time Enough for Love in order to go on a lengthy discussion of genetics which only has a moment of fleeting relevance in the plot.
  • War and Peace has one of two epilogues of the novel devoted to espousing Leo Tolstoy's view of history. If you have read the entire book beforehand, there's no real need to read that particular epilogue.
  • The fourth Maximum Ride novel by James Patterson. While, in the first three books, the main characters were always on the move and in danger, fighting for their lives against evil scientists, and keeping a low profile, in this one Max and the flock are brought to Antarctica to combat global warming of all things. The global warming commentary is there but not overwhelming until the last few pages of the book (before the epilogue) which has Max making a speech to the US Congress concerning global warming and even referencing the current big thing about compact fluorescent light bulbs (that if every house replaced one normal bulb with one of these, it would be "like taking a million cars off the road"). The speech also contains a lot of America-bashing (pig-headed, short-sighted, arrogant, etc). To finish it up, the very last page has 5 facts/tips about "Saving the world. Wings not required" which is more global warming / recycling commentary (and is signed "--Max").
  • Lady Chatterley's Lover has several rants on how industrial growth is killing nature and humanity.
  • The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker contains a lengthy rant on why Lady Chatterley's Lover is an awful book.
  • Book Three of Native Son, particularly toward the end, and at its absolute worst during each of the two speeches during Bigger's trial, especially by Bigger's attorney; each of these speeches went on for over 20 pages of the book. The longest one was exactly 24 pages.
  • The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire contains a lot of Gibbon's anti-religion sentiments. (He blamed its fall on the Church.)
  • Charles Dickens could never resist the temptation to embellish his characters' actions via moralistic asides, sometimes lighthearted, more often disgusted. Since his books tend to contain Loads and Loads of Characters, he does this a lot, in his later, socially-aware novels especially.
  • The Executioner series of action novels was written by Don Pendleton in the 1970's in response to the anti-war and "violence doesn't solve anything" attitudes of the time. Its hero, Vietnam veteran turned vigilante Mack Bolan, spends entire chapters pondering the morality of violence and the nature of his "war everlasting".
  • The last published part of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales with a long sermon by the Parson on the Seven Deadly Sins. While there may have been more later on, thanks to his dying before he finished the Tales leaves it at speculation.
  • People familiar with the musical version of Les Misérables are certain to be rather confused by numerous dissertations on such things as local linguistics, Hugo's thoughts on convents, the life of a side character bishop, the governance of a town, the Battle of Waterloo, and the Paris sewer system in the original work.
  • Parodied in Mason & Dixon, when Dixon goes on a several page speech about the mythological Lambton Worm, and by the time he gets to the end, he can't remember what his point was in bringing it up.
  • In The Ethical Assassin, the title character says almost nothing that isn't Author Filibuster. The last conversation sounds like it's the assassin delivering the jacket blurb.
  • In some of John Norman's later Gor novels, what little plot there is halts AT LEAST EVERY TWO PAGES for a character to go on another rant about how a woman's proper place is kneeling at his feet.
  • Poul Anderson's otherwise pretty good collection of loosely-related short stories, The Boat of a Million Years veers into this trope. The author apparently can't help himself from launching into angry rants against liberalism and expressing the view that libertarianism is the best thing ever.
  • A short story that Dan Simmons posted onto his website is basically a rant on how Islam will destroy the world if left unchecked.
  • In the original 1816 version of Frankenstein, during the scene in which Elizabeth and Victor are visiting the condemned Justine Moritz, Mary Shelley allows Elizabeth to go into a completely inappropriate rant against the inhumanity of the death penalty (Shelley and her husband Percy were strongly against it) - inappropriate for that dramatic moment, anyway, because Elizabeth is meant to be there comforting and consoling her friend who's just been condemned under the death penalty. This led one editor of the 1816 edition to remark that Elizabeth isn't the sort of friend you'd call up to cheer you up if you've had a bad day...
    • Mary Shelley was fond of these. Frankenstein has no fewer than three separate narrators (even more if you count the letters from family members that Victor quotes verbatim), and all of them to some degree deliver little sermons on topics that are only tangentially related to the novel's theme. Oddest of all, the story proper is recounted in the form of a series of letters written by (fictional) Arctic explorer Robert Walton, whose ship is trapped in ice as the novel begins (which, for modern-day readers, must amount to the greatest Fake-Out Opening in history). Mary in fact began writing her story with the creation of the monster itself, but was encouraged by her husband to expand it to full length, belatedly adding Walton and all the rest.
  • Making History by Stephen Fry contains at least one conversation full of remarks the author himself has made in interviews. The line "Just because science doesn't know everything doesn't mean science knows nothing" stands out. There's also the "beautiful words" sketch from A Bit of Fry and Laurie, which is all filibuster by an Author Avatar character. He did a podcast recently where he makes many of the same points, only seriously.
  • Neal Stephenson does this a lot. He keeps you on your toes, too - sometimes he's just rambling about Restoration Comedy for no good reason, but sometimes the five-page demonstration of van Eck phreaking will turn out to be a key plot point.
    • Stephenson's filibusters tend to less about telling us about his political views (though that does show up—science and free markets are good, and academic liberalism and postmodernism are bad, according to Cryptonomicon, The Baroque Cycle, and Anathem) and more about his almost obsessive desire to show his work (think the long discussion on Sumerian religion in Snow Crash).
  • Terry Pratchett has, perhaps, started to succumb to this in later Discworld books, as he began to use the series to express his views on the world. A major example is the argument between Sacharissa and William in The Truth on the true purpose of news media, in which William may as well be holding a card that say "VIEWPOINT OF TERRY PRATCHETT". Actually, basically any point in the book where anyone (but especially William) starts talking about truth in journalism. Makes sense since Pratchett started his writing career in journalism.
    • It could easily be argued that, as a satirical series, this is the entire point of Discworld. This is a questionable argument, though, since it didn't start satirical.
      • It did start satirical, but it satired specific things as opposed to the world and life in general, as it does in later books.
  • Like so many other things of the literature scene, this gets heavily satirized by Walter Moers in many of his books through his Bunny Ears Author Avatar Hildegunst von Mythenmetz (Optimus Yarnspinner in the english translation). The plot of the books are actually a story inside a story, that are told by Hildegunst who is constantly breaking the fourth wall (which is in fact, an in-story fourth wall) to comment on the story he is currently writing down. Moers hangs a giant lampshade on it by having Hildegunst invent the Mythenmetzian Tangent, a literary device in which the author stops telling his story and instead talks about something entire else. Be it the interior decoration of his study, or a rant directed at his most hated critic, or just entire pages of the word "Brumli". Hildegunst does however fail to explain the purpose of this device, which is completely intentional.
  • Just A Couple Of Days by Tony Vigorito is entirely made out of this trope. The fact that the author attempts to justify this via the protagonist complaining about how depressed or scattered he is feeling is embarrassing at best and infuriating at worst.
  • Don Quixote: Parodied and lampshaded by Cervantes. The critics said that the chivalry books were plagued by a lot of lengthy discourses from a lot of different abstract themes, immobilizing the action and discouraging the reader. Cervantes was a great writer, so maybe his intents at author filibuster could be nor boring, but the reactions of the people who listen to them is very realistic: Don Quixote talks for nearly two pages in the "Discourse on The Golden Age", Part I, Chapter XI, and for almost "Discourse on Arms and Letters", Part I, Chapter XXXVIII, Don Quixote talks about six pages. The first filibuster is lampshaded: "All this long harangue (which might very well have been spared) our knight delivered because the acorns they gave him reminded him of the golden age; and the whim seized him to address all this unnecessary argument to the goatherds, who listened to him gaping in amazement without saying a word in reply." and in the second the action really never stops, because all the other characters have their dinners while Don Quixote talked... for six pages and two chapters!: "All this lengthy discourse Don Quixote delivered while the others supped, forgetting to raise a morsel to his lips, though Sancho more than once told him to eat his supper, as he would have time enough afterwards to say all he wanted."
  • The Silver Skates devotes lengthy chunks of the book - including a long side-story only little related to the main plot - to facts about the country of Holland, its culture and history, and basically why it is just completely awesome.
  • The Left Behind series has this in spades. Each of the 16 books bring the narrative to a full stop on at least one occasion to provide sermons that are several pages in length. The final book, Kingdom Come, is especially bad as it spends an entire chapter retelling the stories of three old testament figures.
  • Similar to Left Behind, the Christ Clone Trilogy has some serious author fillibustering. There's hardly any in the first 2 books, but the 3rd book, Acts of God, frequently gets bogged down in Christian sermonizing.
  • Professor Michael Murphy in the Babylon Rising series frequently lectures his students, friends, and acquaintances on the the correctness of his conservative Christian views. It just so happens that Murphy's creator, Tim La Haye (of Left Behind fame) is a conservative Christian.
  • In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Oompa Loompas' poem about Mike Teavee is almost entirely devoted to a lengthy rant about how everyone should get rid of their television and install a bookshelf in its place. Mike Teavee himself is only mentioned in a post-script.
  • John Varley's Gaea Trilogy frequently lapses into this trope, whenever the characters get preachy about sexual politics and/or religion. There's also a weird lecture in Demon about how the "real" rock-and-roll genre of music died out in the disco years, and how 80s-era rock (i.e. music from when Demon was written) was sold-out overhyped garbage. As this digression is uttered by an alien centaur from the 22nd century, and one who's performing brain surgery at the time, it's about as out-of-place as this trope can get.
    • Red Thunder has a long speech about how the space program was ruined by Kennedy's challenge to reach the moon before 1970 and how space travel should have progressed.
  • Anne Rice is simply magnificent at this trope, especially in her The Vampire Chronicles series. It's obvious when its happening because a conversation between two characters (usually involving religion) can span entire chapters (Lestat and Marius' conversations near the end of The Vampire Lestat spring to mind.), and often go over the same points over and over and over again.
    • Lestat does this quite often, especially in the later Chronicles books; the worst example is when he takes time in the preface of Blood Canticle to complain about the fans' reaction to Memnoch the Devil, saying more-or-less that he gave them a glimpse into the mysteries of Heaven and Hell and all they wanted was "the fancy fiend" with glamorous leather and heavy motorcycles. He assures them that there's plenty of traditional badassery to go around but that he'll get to it when he's good and ready. Chapter 7 of the same novel has nothing to do with the plot or the series, but is a three page rave about the new Pope and some Saint in Mexico.
  • The Doctor Who book Night of the Humans is essentially one long rant about how awful and evil every single religion is.
  • Every time someone is mentioned as using pot in the House of the Night series the plot gets temporarily derailed so Zoey and her friends can rant about how doing pot is so uncool and stupid. In Betrayed, we find out that Neferet specifically chooses students to feed to the red-eyed vampires just because Zoey ratted them out to her as having used pot. When the police confront Zoey about the deaths, Neferet tries to blame it all on the victims falling in the river after being high, which sounds uncomfortably like "they were asking to die a brutal death!" And while Neferet is the bad guy, Zoey in no way ever contradicts or debates that argument, and since younger generations tend to have a more liberal attitude about pot (with most thinking that while it may not be good, you can do worse things to yourself) it comes off as even more dissonant.
  • Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: Well, this series has gone into this trope a number of times. The book Payback portrays a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) as scum of the earth who suck up your money like leeches, use that money to pamper themselves, and will simply stand back and not lift a finger to help you as you die of a life-threatening illness. The book Vendetta portrays China as a Crapsack World that cheerfully brings Yellow Peril wherever it goes! The book The Jury has one character Nikki Quinn tell the other characters about the vicious cycle of abuse between spouses. The book Fast Track portrays the World Bank (particularly it's president) as money-sucker that will leave poor countries to rot and die. The book Under The Radar portrays a polygamy sect as a cult made up of the Corrupt Hick, rapists, and pedophiles hiding behind religion and treating women as a Baby Factory.
  • Mat Coward's Success...And How To Avoid It is a funny book about being a freelance writer, which periodically breaks off the jokes to talk about how Margaret Thatcher was out to ruin Britain and referring to her time in office as the "Time of Evil".
  • The wild adventures of our heroes in John Ringo's Council Wars novels at one point come to a screeching halt as they're sitting around a fire and Edmund explains how humans in the late 20th/early 21st centuries were just so damn silly for believing in a clearly absurd thing like human-caused climate change.
  • In the Dutch novel 'Max Havelaar', this starts right after the famous line "stik in koffie en verdwijn!' (choke in coffee and dissapear.)the rest of the novel is what the author wanted to say for the whole novel.
  • In Joseph Heller's novel Good as Gold, the narrative stops dead for about forty pages while the author delivers a massive rant about Henry Kissinger, how he's a lying, murdering scumbag and how, worst of all, he isn't even really Jewish.
  • Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1902) is a psychological thriller masquerading as an African adventure story, but even before the psychological element takes center stage, the novella's protagonist, Charlie Marlowe, veers away from pure narrative at times to talk about his spiritual awakening (or spiritual death, as the case may be) while in the Congo. For several pages at a time, we come upon extensive philosophical treatises that were considered long-winded and dull even in Conrad's time. Partly justified by the fact that Marlowe is actually, in-story, speaking to a group of friends on a boat, and it is an unnamed first-person narrator listening to Marlowe who both opens and concludes the whole thing.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Very common in American TV cartoons and sitcoms during the 1980s and well into the '90s, with the characters (or, sometimes, the actors portraying them) Breaking the Fourth Wall at the end of the episode to advocate on behalf of a cause with which the episode had fictionally dealt. For more on this phenomenon, see And Knowing Is Half the Battle.
  • When Brookside was canceled, the show's creator Phil Redmond had his final say in a rebellious scripted rant about how 'TV and society's not like it was' voiced by its longest-running character.
  • In Boston Legal, starting with season 4, there would be one or two closing arguments in EVERY EPISODE that were perfect examples of this. It would always be a very left leaning take on an issue of the day. It got to the point that it would be painful to watch even if the viewer fully agreed with the arguments being made.
    • Lampshaded somewhat when Denny says "How come the other side always has short closings?"
    • There were a very few occasions when they ended up getting totally shot down by the end of the episode, unfortunately this was phased out as the series went on.
      • It's true of most David E. Kelley productions. Check out Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, etc.
  • A non-moral example from Dan Schneider, the creator of iCarly: one episode of the show portrays Shipping and shippers in a bad light, then finally basically stops the show so Carly can tell them that the point of the show is comedy, not who is dating who.
    • What makes this infuriating for some fans, is that the very next episode they filmed was a 'secret' episode which ended on a nuclear level shipping cliffhanger.
  • The West Wing, Studio 60, and anything else that Aaron Sorkin has ever done.
    • Specific example of this being the rant by Judd Hirsch's character in the teaser to the very first episode of Studio 60 - that's very much Aaron Sorkin talking directly through his mouthpiece.
    • Unlike other shows that portray this trope, The West Wing doesn't fit very well considering that in its essence it is a political show. Each episode usually has several ongoing plots that deal with politics, because they work in the White House, and it's their job. Of course, since their politics inevitably tends to dovetail exactly with Aaron Sorkin's view on the situation, in another sense it fits here like a glove.
  • More of a "Host Filibuster," but after learning that The Dennis Miller Show was going to be canceled, embittered host Dennis Miller began to break show format in the few remaining episodes to air his personal grievances on a number of social and political issues. His biting, humorous rants, dotted with his trademark obscure references, became the foundation for his follow-up show, Dennis Miller Live, in which he performed a scripted rant in each episode.
  • The Shield season five had a major moment (Claudette Wyms being promoted to Captain of the Farmington Precinct) interrupted for an Author Filibuster in the form of Internal Affairs officer Jon Kavanaugh interrupting the meeting where Claudette gets her promotion, to deliver a foaming at the mouth rant where the character (serving as the voicebox for Shawn Ryan and the rest of the writers of the series) goes off on the Misaimed Fandom of the Vic Mackey character.
  • Parodied in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, which frequently had awkwardly inserted scenes about such diverse topics as how great it would be for someone to make a school for psychic children, or what an underappreciated writer Garth Merenghi is. Most fitting the trope was the episode where numerous characters discuss at bizarre length the benefits of buying name-brand batteries from a reputable retailer. Seriously, they spend like ten percent of the show on it.

Porn (All links Not Safe For Work)[edit | hide]

  • The Marquis De Sade was quite fond of this trope, intercalating his famously depraved sex scenes with just as many, if less famous, lengthy rhetorics about the pointlessness of morality in a Godless universe and the glories of hedonism. The Philosophy in the Bedroom is probably the most blatant example.
    • Even in 120 Days of Sodom, which was allegedly written to be a catalogue of different "passions", he can't help his philosophizing and the first part of the book (the 400 pages that were actually written, as opposed to just notes researchers have found) intertwines "tame" (for de Sade, that means watersports/scat, by the by) non-penetrative sexual scenes with why the four main characters are justified in their future torture and murder of their guests.
      • This was Stealth Parody of the day's aristocracy and those who they share power with, and an example of how an Overly Long Gag can still be Author Filibuster.
  • Relatively brief, but frequent, bouts of this appear to be a Signature Style of the work of "SD40ka". Marvel at how Gary proves to a black guy that racism does not exist. Marvel again at how in another story Carol proves that those liberals are all just hypocritical closet racists.
    • SD40ka isn't the only culprit. Search around asstr long enough, and you'll see plenty of asstr writers are guilty of making their stories nothing more than glorified morality plays. It's very annoying when these stories target specific audiences with thinly veiled contempt towards their fetishes.
  • In one late-night Skinemax softcore movie two characters showed up at a bar just as it was closing to talk with the main character bartender, and almost immediately launched into a long, somewhat pretentious speech on the virtues of swinging and how anyone who didn't have an open relationship was a fool. Distinguishable as an author tract rather than just a standard of the genre in that it was not actually followed by a threesome.
  • The book version of Emanuelle gets bogged down with these, especially the "Laws of Eros" conversation. The mouthpiece character goes on about how one can't simply replace bad laws with chaotic anomie, then goes on to make the bald assertion that anything man-made is more aesthetically pleasing than anything created by nature.
  • One of the chapters from the Hentai manga "Great Reaction In Ecstasy" had one of the female characters talk (and demonstrate) for 3 pages why giving and getting titty fucks is great.

Theatre[edit | hide]

  • Subverted in Three Sisters. Vershinin gives a big long speech about how nobody really wants to be happy; they just want to want happiness. And then Tuzenbach asks if there are any chocolates left, deflating Vershinin's entire point: Tuzenbach, at least, wants to be happy now.
  • Some published versions of Arthur Miller's The Crucible (commonly used in schools) contain notes from Miller himself interrupting Act One. Most of them discuss the Real Life characters who have just been introduced, but one devolves into practically a treatise on the Red Scare.
  • Even Shakespeare can fall to this; the middle of Hamlet is interrupted by a discussion between Hamlet and the Players that serves no dramatic purpose but to give Hamlet a chance to rant about spoiled child actors and how they're ruining the art and the business of theater today (that is, in 1601).
    • And the entire "Speak the speech I pray you" monologue is usually seen as Shakespeare's critique on the typical acting methods of the day.
      • Some academics think it was originally intended as an in-joke. Hamlet has no theater experience whatsoever yet there he stands, lecturing a roomful of actors on how to act. It's suspected to be a send-up of the late Earl of Essex, Shakespeare's first patron and a well-known egocentric loudmouth.
    • Child actors/children in theater is reference to Boy's Theater, a form of English theater that was outside the patent rules that Shakespeare and his contemporaries had to follow. Only two theaters in ALL of England were legal for centuries (The Admiral's and King's Men); however Boy's theaters were outside these boundaries and many of the regulations did not apply (also the city of London which hated theater could do nothing against Boy's theater). So, a rant by Shakespeare on the topic of "spoiled" child actors is perfectly valid, they were his biggest competition right next to bear-baiting.
  • Tony Kushner's Angels in America has a number of these, except that the rants are not about Kushner's views, they're about his character Louis's views. This might sound pretty weird—the guy is gonna waste our time with long rants that don't even say something he believes?--but it's actually a characterization device, to depict how obsessed Louis is with politics and religion.
    • Of course, how much Kushner agrees with Louis is uncertain.
    • Louis is to some extent (by Kushner's own admission) an Author Avatar—but in a pretty self-deprecating way. Louis goes on at very neurotic length about his views, often exposing his own hypocrisy and blind spots.
    • Not to mention that Kushner is a huge fan of Brecht, and the subtitle of Angels In America is A Gay Fantasia On National Themes. So really, Exactly What It Says on the Tin.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • This happens a lot in the Metal Gear series. As a sly apology, more often than not it's the villains blathering on, and the protagonist greets their speeches with irreverence, frustration or bewilderment as appropriate. Not to mention that you get to beat the crap out of them once the cutscene's over.
    • That said, in the final cutscene of each game, there's a character that always espouses for Hideo Kojima for a while. In MGS1 it's Naomi Hunter, in MGS2 it's Snake, and in MGS3 it's EVA (sort of, she doesn't nearly break the fourth wall). And you never get the chance to beat any of them up, because it's the final cutscene.
      • That's because the Villainous filibusters are actually Character Filibusters, with the later Author Filibuster at the end being a disagreement with it. He's generally not wanting you to agree with the villains, which is why their plans fall apart at the end and you get to cream them.
    • As a side-note, Nastasha Romanenko would like you to know that nukes are bad.
  • Subverted in Resident Evil 4. Antagonist Ramon Salazar starts what appears to be a long speech about a rather "special" fate he's got planned for Leon, following a brief quip about terrorism "(being) a popular word these days", but before he can finish his second sentence, Leon shuts him up by nailing his hand to a wall with a well-thrown knife.
  • In Deus Ex, JC can match wits with a Hong Kong bartender who has a lot to say about the nature of government and the consent of the governed. The monologue of the NSF leader met in the Statue of Liberty also qualifies.
  • A summery of The Last Resurrection would read like this: "Dear Christians, fuck you cunts. Hate, Sean".


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Pastel Defender Heliotrope used its first update after the results of the 2004 presidential elections to berate the readers for the re-election of George W. Bush.
  • Sinfest typically shows Tatsuya Ishida's liberal leanings both in the comics themselves and the rants. In particular, after the 2004 election, he posted a rant about how he "knew" George W. Bush had stolen the election because there was no way a dumbass like him could win fair and square.
    • Later on this moved on to filibusters about how Obama was Superman... no, literally Superman. Then there was a short series of them about how Obama actually needed to learn to be an Angry Black Man. And, of course, feminist filibusters that eventually turned the entire comic into a feminist Author Tract.
  • R.H. Junior, the man behind Tales of the Questor, apparently thought that the subtle right-wing Christian elements of his comics and his very political journal weren't enough, and decided to interrupt his cutesy Narnia-like allegory about an adventuring raccoon kit with a completely out-of-the-blue ramble. He quickly stopped doing this, though, and relegated it to a separate section - presumably too many people complained.
    • Also happens in his other comics Nip and Tuck and Goblin Hollow.
  • The Last Days of Foxhound is a bit different from these. Instead of a moral dilemma and controversial subject, Decoy Octopus goes on a rant for a whole page about... why the Red Sox suck.
    • And this, about the 2004 national elections: this strip.
  • Subnormality, while excellent, often features a level of verbosity rarely seen in its medium. Perhaps the most filibustering example is this one. (If you don't want to read the whole thing, here's a summary: "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem".)
    • It's no coincidence that Subnormality's subtitle is "Comix with too many words since 2007."
  • In Sluggy Freelance Kiki, of all people, breaks into an eight panel rant about how Fandoms shouldn't be upset when authors kill off beloved characters (which Pete had done quite recently). It's Lampshaded, however, when Kiki ends the rant complaining about Author Filibusters, completely unaware of the irony.
  • VG Cats has the infamous Nerd Rage, and several others almost equally non-subtle.
  • Ozy and Millie was often interrupted by its author so she could rant on various subjects and air her left-wing opinions. What makes this odd is the fact that the author also had a political comic running around the same time with which to do this.
  • Better Days, oh boy, Better Days. The Chess chapter is nohing but.
  • This strip of Something*Positive, which contains a lengthy Take That against Iran and ends with a call to action and a hotlink.
  • One El Goonish Shive strip interrupts some exposition involving the effects of a particular bathroom's design on the events of the previous scene so that Dan can rant about why all bathrooms should be designed like that (summary: People are Goddamn disgusting). While he's dead serious, the way he presents the rant, with comic!Dan nearly foaming at the mouth, makes it an amusing aside rather than a truly jarring interruption.
  • Schlock Mercenary has a moment where Kevyn starts on a rant about the evils of government bureaucracy, only to be caught by Schlock who mentions that "He senses an author's message incoming" and making Kevyn realize what he just said. The narrator steps in to wash his hands off the event, and the strip carries on with its usual brand of Comedic Sociopathy.
  • Sonichu, especially during the troll-influenced issues, usually have the eponymous character or the Author Avatar complaining about stuff the author hates, mostly trolls and homosexuality. Issue 10 is the worst of the bunch, with at least three filibusters and, at one point, Sonichu even tells Chris to stop and get on with the story!

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • A mild example occurs in Sailor Nothing, when at one point Shin bursts into a long rant about DVD regional lockout and copy protection. This is actually pretty much exactly in character for her, given the situation, but it's a little jarring and has nothing to do with the plot whatsoever.
  • Zero Punctuation's spent the better part of one video pointing out that calling rappers dipshits is not racist– the fact that they're mostly black didn't even enter into it– complete with the phrase "Unfunny Soapbox Bit" scrolling in the background.
    • Whenever Yahtzee's reviewing a Wii-game, expect at least one-and-a-half minutes of bashing the console itself, not because the game was awful, but because he feels the need to remind us that, yes, he DOES hate this console.
    • Many reviews begin with long, angry rants about the industry as a whole rather than the specific game.
    • Any military-based game review will manage to work in a good, long rant about how America and Americans are evil imperialistic murderous monsters... especially white male Americans.
  • Moviebob has a REALLY long extended rant on Megan Fox in Jennifer's Body- it isn't until the 2-minute mark that he starts talking about the actual film because he feels he has to get off his chest his annoyance at how overrated she is as either an actress or a sex symbol.
    • His Star Trek review also included a long rant against the Tyler Perry cameo.
    • Bob recently got a column at the Escapist. He gleefully announced in his first video that the new series would just be his personal soapbox.
  • Linkara has a tendency of interrupting his comic reviews to remind us of how very much he hates One More Day, and at one point adds a caption saying he will not be getting over it any time soon. He has the decency to make it funny.
    • Justified in that One More Day is a comic, so at least he's still doing his job as a reviewer. Come for one review, get another one free!
    • He tends to also go off on political/social rants sometimes in his videos. A good example of this is the lengthy tirade about nuclear weapons in the Superman IV review. Some of it's justified given the movie's Clueless Aesop but it still comes off as Anvilicious at certain points.
    • He also gave a rant about blatant and/or inappropriate Fan Service in modern comics to start off his "Athena #1" review. He cited examples such as Vicki Vale's ass shot, a Wizard magazine outright saying women should be drawn sultry, and a shot at Stephanie Brown's ass when she was being tortured by Black Mask (among others) as examples. Given how many comic artists still don't get this, it usually comes off as Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped.
    • Averted in his review of "Superman #592-3"[3] are mind-controlled into filming a porno, where instead of ranting about the use of rape as a plot device he links to a website that already has one and recommends that people read it instead.
  • Animated web series Broken Saints, steeped as it is in political and religious themes, comes dangerously close to this several times.
  • Alpharius from PRIMARCHS spends an entire chapter doing this at the end of the 2nd arc. Not only is this lampshaded by the stage directions (Alpharius...Alpharius again...Alpharius still isn't shutting up) but the chapter itself is titled "I Think This Qualifies As An Author Filibuster"

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Family Guy has done a lot of this in its post-revival episodes to express the writers' generally left-wing views, usually without any self-parody. There is one example of a parodical usage in the episode "Boys Do Cry", however. The message itself is completely sincere, but the way it's delivered is comedically heavy-handed, infused with Reality Subtext:

"Like, for instance, if you're watching a TV show and you decide to take your values from that... you're an idiot. Maybe you should take responsibility for what values your kids are getting. Maybe you shouldn't be letting your kids watch certain shows in the first place if you have such a big problem with them, instead of blaming the shows themselves. [long pause] Yeah."

    • That is subtle Lampshade Hanging of Author Filibuster in Family Guy. If the line was intended to have a go at people taking morals from TV without irony then...
      • One particularly egregious example has an entire episode defending OJ Simpson and in the closing scenes there's an explanation about how it's wrong to judge others and it end with OJ stabbing three people. The Broken Aesop infuriated many viewers who felt that they had just had a half hour of time stolen from them.
    • A particularly horrifying example of a literal filibuster came from the same episode where they used up 5 minutes of their show playing... a Conway Twitty music video.
      • The DVD commentary for that episode announces gleefully that they put it in for its whole ~5min run because people would assume that Fox was just not playing Family Guy. They know how it is inappropriate for the show, and literally put the whole thing in to piss off the people who watch.
    • Parodied in The Road To Germany when Stewie mocks Brian after he said an obvious Take That towards the war in Iraq.
  • South Park. Although sometimes with mocking, many episodes are about what Trey Parker and Matt Stone find wrong in the world.
    • This has become increasingly apparent in recent seasons. In a scene from "Whale Whores", the in-universe Larry King breaks character and diverts attention from the scene just to talk about how much he (that is, Matt and Trey) hates the host of Whale Wars. A previous episode had a scene that made fun of Ghost Hunters by repeating the same joke over and over again, that did not contribute anything to the plot of the episode and was basically a throwaway gag for something like five whole minutes. In other words, South Park's instances of author filibuster have not only become more jarring and (even) less subtle, have become increasingly-focused upon more minor topics (such as currently-popular TV shows or trends).
    • Ironically, South Park's actual morals are usually sarcastic and insincere, lampshaded in several episodes where the characters predict and rant against an upcoming moral following a series of misadventures. The sappy music as one of the characters (usually Stan or Kyle, though Cartman and other characters are sometimes given the moral for purposes of comedy and irony) lectures the entire town on some topic underscores the further aversion of this trope. It's possible that due to South Park's increasing reliance on themed episodes and their extremely rushed work schedule, this formula may just be a reliable way to end episodes.
  • In the 2005 Ninja Turtles episode "Sons of the Silent Age," Donatello goes off on a rant about nuclear power and how awful it is. At one point he even makes a comparison between the Purple Dragons and a nearby power plant (which they destroy during the episode).
    • Meanwhile, there is a guy on Mirage staff who is very much an environmentalist and has mentioned working some of his views into scripts in the comics and cartoons. This may very well be an example.
      • The writer in question, Steve Murphy, was responsible for both the cited episode and the original comic from which it was adapted.
    • Donatello's rant is really questionable when you consider the Turtles and Splinter's origins. Granted, it wasn't nuclear-related, but Donatello never railed against the Utroms for not taking better care of their potentially hazardous material.
  • Batman the Brave And The Bold has a Bat-Mite episode which cuts away to a comics convention where Bat-Mite explains to the audience that the version of Batman with goofy villains is as valid a use of the source material as the grim Batman.
    • Interestingly enough, the episode in question was written by Paul Dini, who not only wrote the best known grim animated Batman for quite some time, but even uses the episode to playfully take a jab at himself. Let's just say he doesn't look good in spandex and leave it at that. Regardless, if this had come from anyone else, it might not be nearly as effective.


Other[edit | hide]

  • From the annals of the United States Supreme Court we have Justice Harry Blackmun's seven-page paean to the sport of Baseball opening his majority opinion in Flood v. Kuhn, after which the whole thing becomes quite technical. While to be fair the case was about the antitrust exemption granted to MLB (and by extension several other major sports leagues), everyone thought that this was unbecoming of a major judicial decision. The justices who joined in Blackmun's opinion explicitly noted that they did not join in the opening seven pages.
  1. As a visiting Japanese businessman - Clancy knows better than to assume that Japanese and Chinese people look alike.
  2. they speak in the ancient language combined with a flow of magic. The singing part is just their own artistic flair.
  3. The one where Superman and Big Barda