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Description Porn occurs when a character or author uses a highly-detailed description to invoke an emotional response, most commonly fear or awe (imagery). Such a description tends to start with the full and complete name of the object, followed by various statistics and factoids about it to enhance the emotional response being invoked. Expect some Wall of Text.

While the item described is often a vehicle or weapon, the trope is not limited to those; parodies often apply the trope to more mundane subjects. If the subject is a weapon, it may be followed by I Call It Vera.

Sometimes the name alone is sufficient if it is sufficiently awe-inspiring by itself.

Subsets of description porn include Gun Porn, Technology Porn, Costume Porn, Scenery Porn, Food Porn, Torture Porn, and porn. Compare with Expospeak Gag. Also see Obstacle Exposition.

Examples of Description Porn include:


Anime & Manga

  • The Desert Punk manga loves this trope; there's like 5 pages of the stuff.
  • Each volume of Mahou Sensei Negima features, as part of the bonus materials, thorough explanations of the mechanics of the MAGIC that was used in that particular volume, including odd details, like how the language you chant the spell in affects spell power (older languages are better), the references for the names dropped in the spells and associated history and/or mythology, and the mechanics of the pactio system, among other things. There's also a part about what parts of the (obsessively detailed) artwork was designed in CAD, and how many polygons were used in the making of a given scene to make it even more behind-the-scenes. Ken Akamatsu is a very thorough man...
  • K-On! did nearly a full minute's background and detail on Sawako's surprisingly valuable Gibson guitar in episode 2x02, explaining why the girls were basically getting 500,000 yen for free.


Comic Books

  • The narration in Sin City does this a lot when describing weather or cars.
  • Alan Moore is fond of this while writing his comic book scripts. Seriously, go and read at least one page. Chances are, that page containts information for only one panel. He writes practically everything about the characters, the background, angles, "camera" movements, shades of colors, shades of black, and on and on and on. He even includes symbolisms, how the characters are supposed to feel or show how to feel on any panel, details and little things like objects and background props. Grantly, you can't write something like Watchmen without all those details in the script.


Film

  • Moulin Rouge: Zidler's pitch to the Duke certainly qualifies:

  Zidler: A magnificent, opulent, tremendous, stupendous, gargantuan, bedazzlement! A sensual ravishment! It will be: SPECTACULAR, SPECTACULAR!

  • In the 2008 remake Death Race, the character List is an obsessive data collector and does this several times.
    • Describing his RPGs:

 Gunner: "What's that?"

Lists: "Model 7 Russian Armory, armor piercing, self-arming, accurate to about a thousand meters."

Gunner: (slightly unnerved) "I thought so."

    • Describing the other inmates:

 "14K. First generation Chinese-American, tenth generation Triad. His father sent him to business school, and he's the only man in here who holds a degree from MIT. He's killed four men off the track."

"Hector Grimm, the Grimm Reaper. The man's a master. Clinical psychopath. Three time consecutive life sentences. He's killed six men off the track, another twelve on it."

  • Goldeneye: Part of Zukhovsky's introduction when he has James Bond's gun pointed to his head.
  • Occurs in True Lies with a MIRV missile, only after Harry attempts Obfuscating Stupidity by calling said missile an espresso maker and a water heater.

 Harry: "This is a Soviet MIRV-Six from an SS-22N launch vehicle. The warhead contains 14.5 kilos of enriched uranium with a plutonium trigger. The nominal yield is 10 kilotons."

 Sultan: "Rolls-Royce Phantom II. 4.3 litre, 30 horsepower, six cylinder engine, with Stromberg downdraft carburetor. Can go from zero to 100 kilometres an hour in 12.5 seconds. And I even like the color."

Donovan: "The keys are in the ignition, your Highness."

 Harry Callahan: "I know what you're thinking, punk. You're thinking 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Now, to tell you the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow your head clean off, you've gotta ask yourself a question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

  • From The Incredibles, Edna Mode's descriptions to Helen Parr of the new costumes she developed for the family.

 "I cut it a little roomy for free movement. The fabric is comfortable for sensitive skin..."

[Flames erupt]

"...and it can also withstand a temperature of over a thousand degrees. Completely bulletproof--"

[Four machine guns open fire]

"...and machine washable, darling. That's a new feature."

 "This... is my boomstick! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?"

 Sgt. Short: "This ship is equipped with a forward-mounted, twenty-millimeter electric cannon. Its six barrels are capable of firing four thousand rounds of ammunition per minute. And that, gentlemen, is one hell of a shit-storm in anybody's language!"

  • The 1996 movie version of Mission Impossible uses this trope when Ethan Hunt describes the CIA's security systems and its various state-of-the-art alarms.
  • From The Fifth Element:

 Zorg: Voila, the ZF-1. [activates a ZF-1 and holds it] It's light; handle's adjustable for easy carrying; good for righties and lefties; breaks down into four parts; undetectable by X-ray; ideal for quick discreet interventions. A word on firepower. Titanium recharger; 3000-round clip with bursts of 3 to 300. With the replay button, another Zorg invention, it's even easier. [lights reveal a mannequin in police gear] One shot...[shoots mannequin]...and replay sends every following shot to the same location. [turns around, shooting in the direction of the Mangalores; bullets curve their trajectory and hit the mannequin instead] And to finish the job, all the Zorg oldies but goldies. [fires every weapon at the mannequin as he mentions them] Rocket launcher...arrow launcher with exploding or poisonous gas heads, very practical...our famous net launcher...the always-efficient flamethrower. My favorite. [winks at the Mangalores] And for the grand finale, the all-new 'Ice-cube System'. [fires a cloud of liquid nitrogen which freezes the remains of the mannequin. Mangalores applaud politely for the carnage.]

 Jake: "Car's got a lot of pickup."

Elwood: "It's got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. It's a model made before catalytic converters so it'll run good on regular gas. What do you say, is it the new Bluesmobile or what?"

Jake: "Fix the cigarette lighter."

 Wayne: "There it is-—Excalibur."

Cassandra: "Wow! '64 Fender Stratocaster in classic white with triple single coil pickups and a whammy bar."

Wayne: "Pre-CBS Fender corporate buy-out."

Cassandra: "I'd raise the bridge, file down the nut, and take the buzz out of the low E."

Wayne: "God, I love this woman."

  Yuri Orlov: "Of all the weapons in the vast soviet arsenal, nothing was more profitable than Avtomat Kalashnikova model of 1947. More commonly known as the AK-47, or Kalashnikov. It's the world's most popular assault rifle. A weapon all fighters love. An elegantly simple 9 pound amalgamation of forged steel and plywood. It doesn't break, jam, or overheat. It'll shoot whether it's covered in mud or filled with sand. It's so easy, even a child can use it - and they do. The Soviets put the gun on a coin. Mozambique put it on their flag. Since the end of the Cold War, the Kalashnikov has become the Russian people's greatest export."

 Cameron: 1958 Ferrari 250 GTS California. Less than a hundred were made. It has a market value of $265,000. My father spent three years restoring it. It is joy, it is his love, it is his passion.

    • It is his fault he didn't lock the garage.
  • Back to the Future Part III: Doc describes his rifle after shooting the rope off the noose which is hanging Marty's neck by Buford's henchmen:

 Doc: "It'll shoot the flea off a dog's back at 500 yards, Tannen! And it's pointing straight at your head!"

 Justin Hammer: "These are the Cubans, baby. This is the Cohibas, the Montecristos. This is a kinetic-kill, side-winder vehicle with a secondary cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine RDX burst. It's capable of busting a bunker under the bunker you just busted. If it were any smarter, it'd write a book, a book that would make Ulysses look like it was written in crayon. It would read it to you. This is my Eiffel Tower. This is my Rachmaninoff's Third. My Pieta. It's completely elegant, it's bafflingly beautiful, and it's capable of reducing the population of any standing structure to zero. I call it "The Ex-Wife."


Literature

  • Older Than Feudalism: The Ur Example is in The Iliad, which devotes exactly one hundred and thirty lines to the description of the Shield of Achilles, which was forged by the god Hephaistos to replace the one claimed by Hector when he slew Achilles' companion Patroclus. The decoration includes scenes of harvests, weddings and natural imagery, as well as two warring armies violently clashing.
  • In Beowulf, the Giant's sword that Beowulf takes to kill Grendel's Mother is described in detail, along with the history etched on it's handle.
  • The World of Gor has an exhausting amount of this, detailing architecture, manufacture of weapons and their combat purposes, attire and its symbolism, social and mercantile customs...John Norman will count the beams of every ship and building in excruciating detail.
  • H.P. Lovecraft adored this particular trope, using archaic and eloquent speech to try, in the best words he possibly could, to explain things that weren't possibly explainable with words. He did a pretty good job of it, by all accounts.
  • Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park may as well be called Description Porn: The Book.
  • Oscar Wilde loves this trope. He can spend pages and pages describing the decor of a room, the upholstery of the chairs, the wallpaper, the bric-a-brac scattered about the room before he gets back to the plot. Arguably this was a Decadent convention, something of a signature of the writers in the movement. It's likely Wilde adopted the practice from the French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans, whose novel A Rebours [1] was full of this sort of thing.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant has this little gem:

 Skulduggery Pleasant's car was a 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental, one of only 208 ever made, a car that housed a six-cylinder, 4.5-litre engine, and was retro-fitted with central locking, climate control, satellite navigation and a host of other modern conveniences. Skulduggery told Stephanie all of this when she asked. She'd have been happy with, "It's a Bentley."

  • About a tenth of the considerable thickness of A Song of Ice and Fire is devoted to intricate descriptions of heraldry, feasts, highly decorated suits of armour and enormous castles.
  • Tom Wolfe had a tendency to write this way; the habit is especially noticiable in The Right Stuff, where he describes each little detail about the dangers that early jet-age fighter and test pilots put themselves through in paragraphs that are nearly run-on sentences.
  • JRR Tolkien. In all his works he puts great effort into describing the landcape, the buildings, the weather and every other feature of the setting, for pages and pages. He was well aware of this is his own writing and featured it in Leaf by Niggle.


Live Action TV

 Jayne: "Six men came to kill me one time. And the best of 'em carried this. It's a Callahan full-bore auto-lock. Customized trigger, double cartridge thorough gauge. It is my very favorite gun."

  • The Wire: After shooting Cheeze in the shoulder, Brother Mouzone elaborates on his ammunition.

 "Pellets in plastic. Rat shot. What you need be concerned about is what's seated in the chamber now: a copper-jacketed, hollow-point, 120-grain hot street load of my own creation. So you need to think for a just a moment and ask yourself: "What do I have to do before this man raise up his gun again?"


Video Games

 "I am Heavy Weapons Guy, and this ...is my weapon. She weighs 150 kilograms and fires $200 custom-tooled cartridges at 10,000 rounds per minute. It costs $400,000 to fire this weapon... for twelve seconds."

    • It does not actually fire that fast in the finished game. If it did, the player would chew through their 200 ammo in a couple of seconds.
      • The game mechanics about it make it so it actually behaves like a really fast firing shotgun. Its firing 4 bullets for every one consumed on your ammo meter.
  • Dwarf Fortress item descriptions are procedurally generated and often rather redundant, yet can produce some amusing mental images anyhow.
    • [Object] menaces with spikes of [substance]
    • The very best are objects decorated with pictures of themselves.
    • And the greatest of them all is Planepacked, an artifact limestone statue created due to a bug that displays most of the history of the world, including 73 pictures of itself
    • This now applies to dwarves themselves, who are described in great detail, including mannerisms and personality quirks.
  • Naked Snake almost has an orgasm in Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater when EVA gives him his Colt M1911, and starts describing why exactly the gun is so great... while there is a half-naked woman standing in the same room.
    • Subverted in the special segments disc from the special "Subsistence" release, when after that whole description scene plays out and Snake pulls the trigger, it turns out to just be a cool looking lighter.
  • Item Descriptions in the Monster Hunter series make sure to remind you that you're wearing the skin of ancient draconic beasts as armor.
  • Any modern Metroidvania Castlevania titles will have list with full descriptions of all the monster you have encountered in the game (which can be easily be over hundred for a single title)


Western Animation

  • An episode of Dexter's Laboratory has Dexter doing a description of a rollercoaster.
  • Mocked in an episode of Venture Brothers when Le Touer started to talk about how impressive his katana was a super impressive one made by...

  Brock: Blah blah blah, why is it all you sword guys want to talk about how cool your swords are?

  • During Kahn's introduction in King of the Hill, Hank asks if he's Chinese or Japanese. Kahn then gives a bunch of statistics about Laos, his home country, to which Hank reiterates if he's Chinese or Japanese.


Other

  • Phil Foglio's What's New with Phil and Dixie comic in Dragon magazine (June 1983) played this for laughs. Demonstrating a spy's ability to be intimately familiar with all sorts of weapons, it shows a spy coolly rattling off the name and statistics for a Mauser 1906, an AR-15 assault rifle, and... a rubber duck.

 "...capable of killing five men simultaneously."

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