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Cringey VS. Overpowered - What's the difference?

'Cringey' means 'causing feelings of embarrassment or awkwardness.' It's been used to shame people for their art for a while now, especially concerning Mary Sues.

Overpowered is a term used to describe characters that have a surplus of powers. It is often shortened to 'OP.'

The words Cringey, Overpowered, and Mary Sue tend to go hand in hand, but there is a distinct difference between them. 'Cringe' is subjective, and a person's view of what is 'cringey' to them varies from person to person. For example, the person making the character may not feel that it is cringey, but to a viewer, it can be.

Overpowered is more factual, though there is no set level of "overpowered-ness".

What is 'Cringe'?

The exact definition of 'cringe' is 'experience an inward shiver of embarrassment or disgust.'

Cringe culture, a phrase used to talk about the online act of ridiculing someone for something through words like "cringey" and "Mary Sue", is rude and not an effective way of helping someone develop creatively. If a character is 'cringey', perhaps direct them to this wiki or these pages, or help them constructively, not destructively.

Cringe culture hurts and shames people for things like enjoying things meant for a younger audience, experimenting with art styles, and especially targets Mary Sues and overpowered characters. Many people who make these characters are younger or at least beginners with creating OCs, and 'cringing' at someone for this is extremely unhelpful.

What is 'Overpowered'?

Overpowered, on the other hand, is just a word used to describe a character, although it can also be used as an insult, especially in the roleplay community.

An overpowered, or OP, character is defined by their excess of powers, a seemingly endless fountain of them. Mary Sues also usually have many powers, so the two tend to have a lot of overlap.

Overpowered characters can be very fun to write and roleplay, but not so much fun for the people reading or interacting with them; read this page for more explanation as to why.

However, done well, they can be extremely interesting and entertaining to play around with. Read this page for a guide on how to manage your power-fountains.

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