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Story Arc

 Story Arc
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FeatureClass
 Story Arc
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Story Arc
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StoryArc
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A Story Arc (arc as in "over-arching storyline") is a sequence of series installments, TV episodes, comic issues, or a certain period of time in a Video Game that puts characters through their paces in response to a single impetus; basically, an ongoing storyline. This can be a few episodes, an entire season, or even the focus of the entire series.
Arcs are not necessarily consecutive episodes. The story may reach a point where, although the arc is not completely resolved, it ceases to be of immediate concern to the characters, thus allowing the writers to intersperse (or insert) non-arc episodes. This is the case whenever an episode or a series of episodes have self-contained storylines, which are then cut-off by a continuation of the arc. Usually, the filler/self-contained stories don't have any major effect on the arc itself, set up character development to be used in the arc, or show off character development displayed in an early storyline.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })Writers may decide to use a stand-alone episode to lighten the mood during a dark arc, or to feature a character not involved in the arc.
Episodes that form a story arc cannot be run out of order, or at least they shouldn't be. Not that this always stops networks or syndicators from doing so.
While the Soap Opera has been exclusively arc-based since the beginning of television and before, the subsequent popularity of arcs doesn't seem to come from soaps. Back in the '90s, when half-funny Sitcom reruns and poorly constructed Saturday morning cartoons ruled with an iron fist, the consensus among writers was that casual viewers wouldn't be able to get into the show. Hill Street Blues was the first American prime-time drama to rely on arcs, and is probably when the term came into the American TV vernacular. British shows have a longer-standing tradition of arcs (See Doctor Who).
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })According to Doctor Who producer Russell T Davies, the term is not used by UK TV writers. However, it is becoming increasingly well known by UK viewers, and UK Comic Book writers certainly use the term.
Story arcs also occur in most other serial media; Super Hero and dramedy comic series (especially online series in the latter case) are well known for them, and since they lack the seasonal format of most Western television shows, some of them take years to resolve.
A character who serves as the Big Bad for a story arc is called an Arc Villain.
See also Myth Arc, Rotating Arcs, Arc Welding, Half-Arc Season, Plot Threads, Season Fluidity, and Aborted Arc.
Sometimes the term is interchangeable with "Saga", especially in Shōnen manga and anime.
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DBTropes

The following is a list of statements referring to the current page from other pages.

 Happy Heroes (Animation) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf (Animation) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Bleach Movies
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Digimon Adventure / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 DokiDoki! PreCure / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Fresh Pretty Cure! / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Go! Princess Pretty Cure / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Kirakira★PreCure a la Mode / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Melody of Oblivion / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 OtogiZoshi
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Princess Tutu / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 SD Gundam Force / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Mysterious Cities of Gold / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Transformers: Super-God Masterforce / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Yu-Gi-Oh! / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Yu-Gi-Oh! GX
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Blake's 7 (Audio Play) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Anonymous Yoshi (Blog) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Albedo: Erma Felna EDF (Comic Book) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Cerebus the Aardvark (Comic Book) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 DeathLiesAndTreachery
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Invader Zim (Oni) (Comic Book) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Jonathan Hickman's X-Men (Comic Book) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Lee-Ditko Spider-Man (Comic Book) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 My Little Pony: Friends Forever (Comic Book)
seeAlso
Story Arc
 My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW) (Comic Book) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 My Little Pony Micro Series (Comic Book)
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) (Comic Book) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Star Wars Republic (Comic Book) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Superwoman (Comic Book) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures (Comic Book) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Mirage) (Comic Book) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Batman Adventures (Comic Book) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Beano (Comic Book) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Beetle Bailey (Comic Strip) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Bloom County (Comic Strip) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Calvin and Hobbes (Comic Strip) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 FoxTrot (Comic Strip) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 JanJansEnDeKinderen
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Peanuts (Comic Strip) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Popeye (Comic Strip) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Douwe Dabbert / Comicbook / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Give Me Liberty / Comicbook
seeAlso
Story Arc
 MarvelComicsPresents
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Miracleman / Comicbook
seeAlso
Story Arc
 New Avengers (2015) (Comic Book) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Stray Bullets / Comicbook
seeAlso
Story Arc
 TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesAdventures
seeAlso
Story Arc
 The Transformers / Comicbook
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Digimon Legend / Fan Fic / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 GoosebumpsAdventure
seeAlso
Story Arc
 HiddenFrontier
seeAlso
Story Arc
 LWWRitzed
seeAlso
Story Arc
 No Chance For Fate / Fan Fic / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Ponyriffs / Fan Fic
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Showa & Vampire / Fan Fic / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Sijo Team Ups / Fan Fic
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Soul Chess / Fan Fic / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 ThingsWeDontTellHumans
seeAlso
Story Arc
 YuYuGiDigiMoon / Fan Fic / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 A New Chance Series (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Beyond the Outer Gate Lies... (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Born to Be Wilde (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Chains of Reality (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Date A Re:Live (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 DigimonAdvent
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Equestria: Across the Multiverse (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Hero Academia D×D (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 InvaderZimTheSeries
seeAlso
Story Arc
 My Hero Playthrough (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Remnant Inferis: DOOM (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Roaring Hearts Pretty Cure (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Royal Heights (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Sonic Boom Legends (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Stories and Tales from Dimension 63 (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Tokimeki PokéLive! and TwinBee (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Wandering of a Sword Hero (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Yu-Gi-Oh! Forever (Fanfic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Olsen-banden / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 War for the Planet of the Apes / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 DC Animated Universe (Franchise) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Kirby (Franchise) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 My Little Pony Generation 4 (Franchise) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Neopets (Franchise)
seeAlso
Story Arc
 The Flash (Franchise) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Touhou Project (Franchise) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Zorro (Franchise) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 LimboOfTheLost
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Twitch Plays Pokémon (Lets Play) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 A Certain Magical Index / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Allison & Lillia / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 High School D×D / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Aubrey-Maturin / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Castle Perilous / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Doctor Who New Adventures / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Edgar & Ellen / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Eighth Doctor Adventures / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Horus Heresy / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 MasterOfNone
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Ranger's Apprentice / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 SonOfSanta
seeAlso
Story Arc
 The Bridge on the Drina
seeAlso
Story Arc
 The Iron Teeth / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Magic Treehouse / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Volle
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Anarky
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Brainiac
seeAlso
Story Arc
 CenturyCity
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Clip Show / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Drrt
seeAlso
Story Arc
 EUReKA
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Earth-G
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Half-Arc Season / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 HillStreetBlues
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Hourman
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Mario4812LikedTropes3
seeAlso
Story Arc
 MarkWaid
seeAlso
Story Arc
 MarsDiaries
seeAlso
Story Arc
 MisBlamed
seeAlso
Story Arc
 MysteryCaseFiles
seeAlso
Story Arc
 OnceUponASmile
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Ptitlegygw9hsyv7n5
seeAlso
Story Arc
 ReBoot
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Reality Check
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Replacement Scrappy / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Soundscape
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Storyarc
sameAs
Story Arc
 TheAdventuresOfMisterSquishy
seeAlso
Story Arc
 TheFilmRenegado
seeAlso
Story Arc
 TheFlash
seeAlso
Story Arc
 TheLawrenceOfBrightmoon
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Very Special Episode / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Volle
seeAlso
Story Arc
 ptitleueg658yc
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Black Lagoon (Manga) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Dai no Daibouken (Manga) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai (Manga) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Guyver (Manga) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Land of the Blindfolded (Manga) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun (Manga) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 My Hero Academia (Manga) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Pokémon Adventures (Manga) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Reality Check (Manga)
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches (Manga) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Yu-Gi-Oh! (Manga) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Oneohtrix Point Never (Music) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 SAYER (Podcast) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Adventures in Odyssey (Radio) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 BigFinishDoctorWho
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Old Harry's Game (Radio) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Burns and Allen Show (Radio) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 ArimnaesHappyFunTimePowerHour
seeAlso
Story Arc
 BZPRPG (Roleplay) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 BouvetIsland
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Character Development Thread (Roleplay)
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Cirque Mystique (Roleplay) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Disney Conquest (Roleplay) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Pokémon and Digimon RP (Roleplay) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Reaching Salvation (Roleplay) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Rumia Quest (Roleplay)
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Starpath (Roleplay) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Origin of the Keys (Roleplay)
seeAlso
Story Arc
 We Are Our Avatars (Roleplay) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Bananas in Pyjamas / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 BetweenTheLines
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Blake's 7 / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Boy Meets World / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 CenturyCity
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Criminal Minds / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Desperate Housewives / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Gekisou Sentai Carranger / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Ghostwriter / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Grey's Anatomy / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Hawaii Five-0 / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Highlander / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 House / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 I Dream of Jeannie / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 JAG / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Jessie / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Kamen Rider Build / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Kamen Rider Gaim / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Kamen Rider Zi-O / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Life Support / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Mister Rogers' Neighborhood / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Mr. Bill / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 My So-Called Life / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 NCIS: Los Angeles / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Orphan Black / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Person of Interest
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Renegade / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Run For Money Tousouchuu / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Spin City / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Star Trek: The Next Generation
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Star Trek: The Next Generation / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Strange / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Takeshi's Castle / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Beverly Hillbillies / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Flash (2014) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The King of Queens / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Prisoner
seeAlso
Story Arc
 The Prisoner (1967) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Storyteller / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 TheWorldofJonathanSingh
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Trailer Park Boys / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 True Detective / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 24 / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Veronica Mars / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Yes, Minister / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 You Rang, M'Lord? / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Zoo / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine (Tabletop Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Call of Duty: Zombies (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 City of Heroes (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Criminal Case (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Dragon Nest (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Fallout Shelter (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Kid Icarus: Uprising (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Megadimension Neptunia VII (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Middle-earth: Shadow of War (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Monster Rancher (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Mystery Case Files (Video Game)
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Nazi Zombies (Video Game)
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Neptunia (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Ōkami (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Sonic Adventure 2 (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Sonic Heroes (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Jackbox Party Pack (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Twisted Wonderland (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Xenoblade (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 You Don't Know Jack (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Zombie Stories (Roblox) (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Hand of Fate (Video Game) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Otherspace
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Cause of Death (Visual Novel) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 My Candy Love (Visual Novel) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Sweet Elite (Visual Novel) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 RWBY Chibi (Web Animation) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Simon's Cat (Web Animation) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Wakai Bungaku (Web Animation) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Board James (Web Video) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 BrainScratch Commentaries (Web Video) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Kickassia (Web Video) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 MURDER Sci 100 (Web Video) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Some Jerk with a Camera (Web Video) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Last Angry Geek (Web Video)
seeAlso
Story Arc
 The Needle Drop (Web Video) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 TheNetCourt
seeAlso
Story Arc
 The Rock Critic (Web Video) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Ultra Fast Pony (Web Video) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Brawl in the Family (Webcomic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Critical Miss (Webcomic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Energize (Webcomic)
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Erika and the Princes in Distress (Webcomic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Grim Trigger (Webcomic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 League of Super Redundant Heroes (Webcomic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Maliki (Webcomic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Oglaf (Webcomic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Roommates (Webcomic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Stand Still, Stay Silent (Webcomic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Cartoon Chronicles of Conroy Cat (Webcomic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Descended (Webcomic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Life of Nob T. Mouse (Webcomic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Parking Lot Is Full (Webcomic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Water Phoenix King (Webcomic) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Wyliman
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Earth-G (Website)
seeAlso
Story Arc
 The Onion (Website) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Aqua Teen Hunger Force / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Archie's Weird Mysteries / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Avengers, Assemble! / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Batman: The Animated Series / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Beast Wars / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Carmen Sandiego / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Codename: Kids Next Door / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Daria
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Detentionaire / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Dinosaur Train / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 DuckTales (2017) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Exo Squad / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Gargoyles / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Green Eggs and Ham (2019) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Jem / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Lego DC Comics Super Heroes / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Muzzy in Gondoland / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 ReBoot
seeAlso
Story Arc
 Ready Jet Go! / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Sonic Boom / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Spider-Man: The Animated Series / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Storm Hawks / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Tangled: The Series / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Animals of Farthing Wood / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Boondocks / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Lion Guard / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Schnookums & Meat Funny Cartoon Show / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 The Spectacular Spider-Man / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Ultimate Spider-Man / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 VeggieTales / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Wander over Yonder / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Winx Club / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 BattleTech / Westernanimation / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Ashita no Nadja / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Happiness Charge Pretty Cure / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Mononoke / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Noir Ange / Fan Fic / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Sunday Without God / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 storyarc
sameAs
Story Arc
 Earth: Final Conflict / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 CLANNAD (Visual Novel) / int_42008602
type
Story Arc
 Iron Man: Armored Adventures / int_42008602
type
Story Arc