All The Tropes:Just a Face and a Caption
Images in Wiki Pages are great, aren't they? They make the page more visually appealing and let us display a really cool example, often in a funnier and more imaginative way than by words alone. Why, we love images so much that we have the Image Links Wiki so each page can have more than one. However, you don't need that, for you've found the perfect example for the trope and thought of just the wittiest caption to go with it.
Well, stop and think. You might be putting up Just a Face and a Caption.
A common sin of contributors is to let their Fan Myopia get the best of them and put in a pic that just shows off one of their favorite characters with a caption that makes a joke off of how they so totally fit the trope in their show. This will rarely, if ever, do a good job of showing off the trope. Nobody who isn't a fan of the show will get who this character is or how they fit the trope and the caption just won't be funny to them. The point of the page image is to provide a quick, sharp visual illustration of the trope for everyone.
Of course, a trope about purely visual tropes, like faces, facial expressions, hairstyles, and such are a different matter. It can be acceptable for certain character archetypes as well, depending on the picture itself.
Remember, There Is No Such Thing as Notability, and so there is no show that you can assume that all of the readers will know about. You certainly shouldn't assume such a thing from the examples you read around the site. No matter how good their Entry Pimping is, the editors can't get past the fact that they are only 1% of the total readership. This ratio has been stable for some number of years, and is generally true of all wikis.
Our readers come from all sorts of fandom and will connect with examples from different media. That's why we have the different media -- to get people from all fandoms, not just to read but also to contribute. We want it all, from Web Comics to Wagner. So, images shouldn't be added under the assumption that people are already in the fandom, they must be added to get people to get involved in it. If we give the impression we're not interested in a person's subject area (or are much more interested in another area), we are limiting our subject coverage. Along that pathway is utter niche-dom.
See also How to Pick A Good Image.
There is one and only one exception to these guidelines -- a Work's "Characters" subpage. Here is where Just a Face and a Caption belongs -- as long as the face and caption have a description next to them.
If you're unsure about whether a page pic falls under Just a Face And A Caption (JAFAAC) or not, check it against these exemplars.
The True JAFAAC:
- Conveys zero visual information about the trope.
- Depicts an example of the trope, but with no visual context.
- If it has a caption, the caption pulls all of the weight of demonstrating the trope.
- A Speech Balloon or other form of text-in-the-image won't save you here--if there's nothing in the visuals, it's JAFAAC.
- Basically, it's the same as if you took an example from the examples list and slapped it at the top of the page along with the first Google Image Search result for it.
- If you come across this type of pic, you should definitely start an IP thread to replace it.
The Pretty Much JAFAAC:
- Conveys some visual information about the trope, but the information it provides is irrelevant or unhelpful for understanding the trope.
- Technically, it does help show something about the trope; however, its actual value for illustrating what the trope is is severely limited.
- Even though it shows part of the trope, it's still pretty much the same as the True JAFAAC.
- Like the True JAFAAC, if you come across this type of image, it's best to start an IP thread for replacing it.
The Not Actually JAFAAC:
- Contains visual elements that explain the trope, but they may be subtle.
- It's easily mistaken for JAFAAC by careless posters in Page Images, but it isn't -- there are visual cues that help it to illustrate the trope to some extent.
- The caption may give it a push by clearing up ambiguity, helping to set the tone, etc.
- When the image and the caption work as a team, such as in the image for My Greatest Failure, this is frequently the result.
- Often, Your Mileage May Vary on its effectiveness, but an image in this category has enough visual information to tug it out of Just a Face And A Caption range, often resulting in becoming a placeholder for a potentially better image instead.
- While it's fine to start an IP thread to replace these images, it's best to have a clear example to suggest for a replacement.