Essentially, is a pointless meta tag that doesn't really add anything. (not like anyone is going to follow/be an expert in "specific scene"). It's basically synonymous with . Should be removed?

As suggested, I have suggested the tag as a synonym for Plot Explanation https://movies.stackexchange.com/tags/plot-explanation/synonyms and it can be voted on there.

Due to the complexity of the issue, synonym isn't the best choice. Instead, the following is needed.

  1. Untag specific-scene from 35 ID only questions, film-technique x 5 out of 6, realism × 3, alternate- version × 3, effects × 3. These make up 1/4th the current tag, and are the only ones where ss does not mean plot-explanation.

  2. Merge the rest, which is 48 (1/4th) already bearing Plot-explanation, and the rest mainly movie title tags, where ss does mean plot-explanation.

  3. Burn specific-scene to prevent future usage, as this tag is specifically useless in describing the content or the question in mind.

  • I sense a ""Synonymizer"" badge here
    – pradyot
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 8:52
  • I do agree with it but want to see what community think.
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 9:00
  • Old related discussion.
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 11:12
  • I agree; if you propose the synonym I'll vote for it :)
    – KutuluMike
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 12:03
  • FWIW, I agree too - a pointless tag.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 14:57
  • @kutulu proposed and linked
    – cde
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 20:24
  • 2
    But ID question also have that tag which need to be fixed first
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 8:07
  • 1
    Agreed and voted, but when I was young, I was an expert on a Specific Scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High... Commented May 26, 2016 at 6:19
  • It's only 16 ID questions. I miscounted, due to the fact that the search shows answers, too.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 21:10
  • @NapoleonWilson why make query for it, just include tags movies.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/…
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 9:09

2 Answers 2


I agree that is a bad tag that doesn't really have much meaning in itself. So yes, it should probably be removed (for which a synonym isn't required from a technical viewpoint).

However, it should not be a synonym of . That tag is way too broad and used for millions of different things, it is not synonymous with getting the plot explained, even if it's admittedly used for that purpose most of the time. But there can be a variety of questions about a specific scene that don't necessarily want the plot explained. For example it is also used on identification questions now and then and even among the non-ID questions a rough skim lets me count ~15 wrong usages per 50 questions (from , over , to questions).

This is not about getting old questions retagged here, of course we would fix them beforehand. This is entirely a problem of new questions getting tagged wrongly. For a tag to be a synonym of another one, it has to be a sefinite subset of the parent tag, since the only reason the synonym exists is to make tagging easier for new users who might use the synonym instead. The words "specific scene" are too ambiguous to always unmistakably mean "explain the plot of this scene to me" rather than the millions of other things about a scene that people could and will ask questions about. So instead of having a useless and ambiguous tag, we might just start to see slapped on a variety of questions not about explaining the plot.

  • I think that even in these cases, it's still less wrong than having specific-scene itself. Maybe alternative - version is the only maybe okay instance of it. I think we need a data link for how many questions that are non-id have this.
    – cde
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 20:15
  • @cde Sure it's less wrong than specific-scene itself, doesn't make it right, though. I'm not arguing in favour of keeping the specific-scene tag around here, not all. Sure it should be removed, but it should not be made a synonym either.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 20:19
  • It should, just not until other uses are removed. Let me find the analytic data for it.
    – cde
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 20:23
  • @cde I'm not sure if you are conflating tag removal with tag synonymization here. One is an implementation issue and the other one a tag categorization issue and neither does the former require the latter. specific-scene as a tag is too ambiguous in meaning to always mean "explain the plot in this scene to me". In which way do the words "specific scene" always mean getting the plot explained?
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 20:27
  • I rephrased the answer a little, in case it wasn't entirely clear what a tag synonym is really used for and how it has no play in the actual tag removal.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 20:35
  • Going through all the related tags, only film-technique x 5, realism × 3, alternate-version × 3, effects × 3, are instances where specific-scene isn't asking for a plot explanation. The rest are movie tags, and places where plot-explanation fits better. 1/4th of the tag is double tagged as plot explanation.
    – cde
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 20:36
  • @cde And don't forget the 32 ID questions that bear it, too.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 20:39
  • Oh, your concern is future tags? Then the answer is 1, clean up the 14 questions where it isn't basically plot-explanation, 2, turn it into a synonym so the system can mark the rest as plot-explanation where it fits, then 3, burn the tag so it can't be used. This minimizes the manual retagging of duplicates or manual removal of tags, and prevents untagged questions.
    – cde
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 20:40
  • @cde Yeah, that's exactly how we would do it. Remove it from the ones that aren't plot-explanation, then merge it into plot-explanation. But none of this requires the creation of a persisting tag synonym as you seem to propose it (or aren't you?), it's merely an implementation detail of how the tag will be removed. This is, however, entirely independent of the idea of creating a persistent tag synonym for all new questions to be available, which is the only part of your proposal that I eschew from. If that is, however, not what you propose at all, you might want to clarify the question.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 20:43
  • Dang. My head hurts. So then 50 questions where it needs to be removed.
    – cde
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 20:44
  • By the way, in fact the tag merging process isn't even done automatically by creating a synonym. The tags still have to be merged manually even after the synonym is created for the existing questions to change their tags. And neither does merging require a synonym to have been created beforehand.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 20:45
  • If you have a tool that let's you merge without making a synonym, preventing 100 questions from flooding the update page. I thought the synonym tool was the only way.
    – cde
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 20:45
  • Just to get this straight, when a synonym is approved, the questions don't get silently retagged by the system? That's the opposite from what I've seen.
    – cde
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 20:47
  • @cde No, as said, that's an implementation detail I haven't even adressed in the answer and didn't really see adressed in the question. I thought the question was about the conceptual creation of an actual tag synonym in addition to the tag removal independent thereof. But yeah, that's exactly how it would be done under the hood.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 20:47
  • 1
    Updated question to reflect this. If you would keep the comments for now, I want to suggest an update to the help page on Meta related to that ambiguity.
    – cde
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 21:06

Looking at the top 8 tags on Movies.SE, 6 of them are meta-tags (, , , , and ).

In fact, on the first page of most popular tags (36 tags in total), 20 of them are meta-tags, and seven of them are genre tags. Although the usefulness of genre tags is debatable, with the way that tags are meant to be used on StackExchange (helping users find questions that they are interested in), that means that a significant proportion of the top used tags on the site should not exist.

This is partially to do with the way that Movies.SE has approached not only tagging, but the kinds of questions that the site will accept. I believe that it is time to open a new discussion - top down - about the kinds of questions that Movies.SE will accept. In my opinion, Movies.SE should really only accept questions about specific franchises/films/TV shows, which would remove a lot of unnecessary tags while also getting rid of the dreaded ID questions - but that's something for a different discussion.

So for now, yes, should be removed, because it's a useless meta-tag. But we are treating symptoms, not the cause.

  • We just had that discussion and no, ID is not going anywhere.
    – cde
    Commented May 27, 2016 at 18:04

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