When Flim and Flam discover their beloved catchphrase is being used by a television personality, they respond in the only way they feel is appropriate: by filing a lawsuit.
"Oh hey, new PRB fic, auto tra-the premise is what?
Edit: This will actually be the first Flim and Flam fic I ever read.
Always glad to see more Flim and Flam here!
I'll read this tomorr- later today. Also, I'll be removing this comment when I do, don't want unnecessary clutter after all.
Dammit, couldn't get first. Oh well... it was fun prereading this!
Il read later :)
Oh my gosh yes! Yes! A new story from you has to be good.
“this is Reasonable Doubt,
“It… it’s just to make a loud noise to get everypony’s attention,” he mumbled.
I could just imagine his jaw going slack here as he says this in a deadpan.
“How are we supposed to know if it was Colonel Mustard in the library with a candlestick if we can’t even ask questions?”
Clue reference ftw
Halfway through. I am being reminded of the movie "12 Angry Men."
The end. Wow that was good. The end left me with just the perfect balance of happy and laughter. But I really want to know Mr. Steve's real name.
Well that was fun. Good to see you back in action, PRB.
Is it bad I wanted BOTH sides to crash and burn? I dislike (in a love to hate them kind of way ) the Flim Flam brothers, and I REALLY hate frivolous lawsuits. On the other hand Emerald was a HOOGE BITCH, and her lawyer was even more criminal than most lawyers (no offense to any lawyer bronies. ) I think Derpy should have got the rights. (No, I have no idea how that would even work. )
Oh Derpy, you're such a card.
Out of curiosity, did you ever actually come up with a name for Not-Steve?
Wonderful story made me laugh. This was definately worth reading.
I definitely got a little bit of Twelve Angry Men vibe from the juror deliberation scene. Also, congratulations, you made me like the Flim Flam Brothers.
The world needs more Flim Flam Bros. fics XD.
Just a second addition to what I did not say earlier. You took two characters canon generally teaches you to despise, and made me like them. You're good.
You can't even imagine the number of times I rewrote this so that Flim and Flam were depicted in JUST the right way to make the reader sympathize with them, while simultaneously keeping them in character.
That right there is why it took me four months to write a measly 14,000 words.
Glad to see it worked on you, though!
>>18493141849314 I couldn't help but notice how shockingly in character they were. You twisted hooves to get this the way it was, but although there are some sprained shoulders, this story is golden.
Thanks! I really appreciate hearing someone tell me I succeeded in exactly what I set out to do.
This....is...absolutely fantastic. Well done. You have earned a Sacred Mustache.
Well... ummm... Even though the way this started was a frivolous lawsuit, they managed to uncover a law conspiracy, and the manager got a new job with ponies who respect him now. So....
That's good I guess? I mean, if the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then... maybe vice versa?
That was quite good, and I have to echo the statements already made about the Brothers' characterization, they were spot on yet likable.
Must ... resist.
Must ... not ...
The Flim Flam bros are such an engaging pair and such affable 'villains', it's a real shame they aren't seen more often.
Kudos on the excellent story.
That was a really fun story. Of the three Flim Flam fics I've read, I like this one the most.
Derpy totally stole the show, though. The running gag with the board games was great.
This was great. Flim and Flam were an interesting choice of protagonists, but they were perfect for a story like this, and surprisingly likeable. You made a villain that was exactly the right balance of devious and relatively harmless to fit the light hearted tone of the fic, something I think you have a talent for, and all the side characters like the manager and the judge all made for some amusing asides. The work you put into this shows, and I found it both humorous and charming. I hope to see more like this from you in the future.
10/10. Would read again.
What IS Emerald's former managers name? I must know, please
I never invented one! Left it out on purpose.
In the spirit of Christmas and my New Year's resolution, I will provide some honest feedback, even if I feel wrong and stupid for doing so.
I feel like this short story is missing one very vital scene, one that clearly showcases both parties motivation. From what I could get out of the story, Flim and Flam are just pulling a fast one to scam some money out of their catch phrase, while Chef Emerald seems to believe that she did indeed steal the catch phrase, leading to her shady tactics in court, which I can't reasonably piece together. Although I'm pretty sure not to have correctly assumed all this, their motivations and the back story behind the actual catch phrase in my case left a lot of unanswered questions with a bad aftertaste of incompleteness, that I wished would have either been revealed in the beginning for a better understanding of the trial or at least at the end of the story, neatly wrapping the whole thing up.
Especially in the case of the Flim Flam brothers I really can't understand their course of action. It seems to me, their entire line of defense is insanely weak, and the prospect of winning was so slim, it could never account for the risk of paying for the trial if they lost.
To reiterate, I can appreciate the effort that went into this story, especially having the characters in character, but it just feels too incomplete to me.
Thanks for the feedback. Don't worry, constructive criticism is welcome, especially from someone like you who's done editing for me in the past!
Now, let me try to defend my choices in writing here in what ways I can, although you are at least partially right when all is said and done.
Flim and Flam did in fact have reason to attempt this trial: The primary cost you would pay is to employ a lawyer to support you. Flim and Flam didnt hire a lawyer because they actually weren't super-concerned about winning the trial: sure, they wanted the ability to use the phrase "Bing Bang Zam" but that was a secondary goal to their main goal of getting lots and lots of free advertising by challenging a celebrity to a really frivolous court case. Flim and Flam knew their case was weak, and were hoping to win over the jury's favor entirely with their charisma. And if not, it was no great loss for them because they kept their court expenses so low that it didnt really matter. Instead, because of a serendipitous turn with Derpy, they ended up winning.
Emerald is the one who didn't really have a reason to go to court; it may have been possible to settle the matter without a lawsuit, but Emerald chose to challenge them anyway because of her pride. Money-wise, she was easily capable of affording it, and she wanted a chance to publicly crush the "little people" who dared to stand up to her. And to guarantee her victory, she pulled an illegal stunt with the help of Mr. Doubt.
That's my explanation of the motivation. Is it enough to actually justify what both sides did? Probably not, but hopefully that makes the story at least a little more redeemable.
I'm not that knowledgable concerning law, and there might differences in different countries, but I think in civil law cases the losing party actually has to carry the entire expenses of the trial, including expenses for the room and the salary of the judge, security guards and both sides' lawyers. If that weren't the case, people could simply go around sueing everything and everybody, simply at the expense of their own time and tax dollars. Apart from that, a lost case could easily lead to a counter-claim for defamation, potentially adding up to quite a sum.
Of course one could argue that Equestrian law is different, or that Flim and Flam are blisfully unaware of this, but that is beside the point (yet I just couldn't give it a rest, could I?)
The point is, I think this story would benefit from an additional scene giving the actual backstory of the phrase "bing bang zam". (Also, I think it would benefit from a name for Not-Steve, that's just too much of a tease.) In the end, it's your decision as the author how much of a point I have and if it would be worth the effort to include my idea.
Yeah, I'll admit my knowledge of law is not nearly complete either, and I'm sure there are plenty of expenses that I'm simply overlooking. I didnt go into in-depth research on expenses just for the sake of writing a story about ponies.
So yeah, we'll go with the old fallback; when in doubt, blame it on the Equestrian system being different than ours. I think most ponies are probably good-hearted enough that they don't go around suing one another at every opputrunity. (Although, neither party involved here falls into that good-hearted category!)
Thanks for giving me an honest review. I'm not sure when/if I'll be changing anything, but I'll certainly take your opinions into consideration.
How much do you have to hate your kid to name them Reasonable Doubt? No wonder he became a defense lawyer!
Alright horrible stereotypes aside this made me smile, giggle and laugh so hard. Seriously who else called Derpy being the deciding factor the second you heard "grey and blonde pegasus"? Well done sir, well done.
*snerk* Nice, Still never learned Steve's real name though.
"There’s really no way to prove which side owned the catchphrase first though, it there?" You mean is there.
Yep, this is the first Flim Flam story I've read!
There certainly aren't too many fics that center on them.
This one was planned quite some time ago, but I only recently got around to writing it.
First of all, does anyone notice that Flim and Flam seem to act like one pony. It's as if they are the same pony in two places at once.
Anyway, about the story: Well done of making Flim and Flam the underdog in this one, it managed to challenge any preconceptions your readers would undoubtedly have had of them. Right from the get-go you show that the Chef probably doesn't deserve the catchphrase even though they were probably thought up independently. And after the discussion of perjury it becomes obvious that she should lose purely on moral grounds.
Also, including Derpy was a nice touch. She speaks her mind and I could tell that, from the moment she first spoke out to the judge, Derpy was going to be the one to solve the case. And lo and behold: your characterisation succeed. Also, good job on portraying her eyes as being a good thing, we can't have enough of that can we?
I would say this is another brilliant story, RPB, one of the few I've read that mentions Flim and Flam. Well Done!
(Also, I must find out what happened to Emerald and her attorney. And what happened to the other cases who's results were skewed.)
I left that last point open on purpose in case I ever run out of story ideas. That way I'll have a potential sequel available.
Do not ever expect a sequel to this, though. I don't plan to write one, I'm just covering my bases.
Oh, man. This was great. And I have to agree on the Twelve Angry Men connection many were making.
I have to agree with others in that your characterization was excellent. However, I do have to say that I didn't really enjoy the portrayal of Derpy here. She seemed to be more of the truly mentally disabled variety of characterization for most of the story, but suddenly shifts to clever near the end. I'm not a fan of the "special" Derpy portrayal in general, and the shift doesn't help. Again, the rest of the story was excellent, just a bit of a point of contention here.
I was not trying to make Derpy seem mentally disabled, merely kind of absentminded and scatterbrained, as well as very naive.
In short, she's not the brightest pony out there, but she's certainly not meant to be mentally unwell in this fic.
>>18943341894334 I understand, thank you for the clarification .
Courtroom drama? Yawn. I think I'll go see what--
>by Pegasus Rescue Brigade
And Derpy saves the day by saving a several year old flier. I knew I had my habit for a reason!
My reputation has preceeded me again.
This. This has to be one of the greatest stories of all time. Fave'd even though it's completed. And following too! :D
Hot damn, this fanfic made me go from hating Flim and Flam to putting them on the top of my "Favourite Minor characters list"!
I love this one! It's nice to see the brothers in a positive spotlight. Also, go Derpy!
Others mentioned it too, but let me also note that it's really enjoyable how you pulled off making protagonists out of the shady Bros while keeping them totally in character. And, might I add, without having a truly evil "I-eat-kittens-for-breakfast"-type antagonist (well, of course Emerald is cheating, but in a way I can just imagine in real life). Good work!
Although I'm not sure how is Derpy immune to mind-altering. I mean, sure, she wasn't looking at Doubt, but he still pointed his horn at the jury, so the spell should've hit them, including her. Not that this small detail ruined the fic for me, of course.
Derpy was looking at him. It's just, in order to be affected, you have to look directly at the flash of magic.
When the lawyer bowed, his horn would have been facing the jury directly, so most of them were affected. Derpy wasn't because her eyes go off in different directions; one of them was looking at a spot above Reasonable Doubt, and one at a spot below him, as is normal when she tries to focus on something.
Her eye condition saved her from looking directly at the controlling magic, basically.
Fair enough, I just thought it's like he was shooting a ray of magic from his horn (as, quite ironically, the Flim Flam Brothers did when they chanted the ominous catchphrase during the song, only less noticeable). I guess it's some kind of hypnosis then - but there's no canon info on how magic functions, so it could work anyhow. I probably overthink this.
Yeah, it's not a ray that has to hit a pony, otherwise the others in the courtroom probably would have been able to see it.
Hypnosis is a better word. Hypnosis that requires direct eye contact.
"Should the phrase go to Emerald or Flim and Flam?"
"No choose: Emerald or Flim and Flam?"
DERP DERPBURGER YES!
That was a fun read. (You've also inspired me to get back to work on my own Flim Flam story.)
One quibble, though: I kinda-sorta thought that a case about IP rights like this would be a civil case, not criminal, and as such would typically be decided by the judge rather than a jury. I suppose we can chalk that up to "Equestria's different and I don't gotta explain it," though.
Or chalk it up to "author has no knowledge of court proceedings and decided to write a court case story anyway."
But my strange decisions on story topics aside, glad you enjoyed it.
>>>He didn’t even notice the drab new color anymore; the rich brown that his mane had once sported was now all but completely replaced with dull grey.>>>
A pony turning grey?! IT'S DISCORD!!!
*Alondro sounds the alarm!* EVERYPONY PANIC!!!
*ponies gallop about frantically, screaming and looting and lighting fires and turning over cop cars...* Whoah whoah whoah! Going too far there! This is just the possible release of a sadistic god of chaos, not LA after the Lakers loose!
See, this is why trademarks exist, guys.
It's not so much "reputation" as "I enjoyed Shipping and Handling." But close enough. :)
Congratulations on making Flim and Flam quite likeable in this. They kind of landed somewhere between "loveable rogue" and "magnificent bastard"... for me, at least. And the Manager's blow-up at the end reminded me of this clip from the movie Monster Squad. Though I kind of thought Flim and Flam should have needled Emerald more when she was on the stand in an attempt to get her to snap and show her true colors to the jury.
A few notes about the US legal system from a complete non-lawyer:
-At the beginning, the case should be expressed as "The Flim-Flam Brothers Company (or whatever they call themselves, legally) vs. (whatever company produces the Chef Emerald Show)".
-"I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps one of you isn’t being entirely honest about the way the Chef Emerald show is run." This a personal attack outside of the opening and closing statements, which isn't allowed. Doing it anyway, knowing it'll be objected to and sustained, is called "ringing the bell", and it's a quick way to get your butt ejected from court. It's a statement that he isn't allowed to make, but you can't un-ring a bell once it's been rung -- even if the jury were instructed to ignore it, they can't entirely remove it from their minds. Reasonable Doubt should have objected instantly to this statement, though of course he's being very lazy since he's cheating anyway.
-Technically speaking, Derpy's flyer is inadmissable. Even if better evidence exists, the jury is supposed to decide based solely on what was presented in the case, and it's the lawyer's fault for not locating the stronger evidence.
-This is a civil suit, so Flim and Flam should be called the Plaintiff rather than Prosecution, and the jury at the end should "find in favor of the Flim-Flam Brothers" rather than "find Chef Emerald guilty".
Not necessarily. I've been on a civil jury before. They're usually settled by mediation (judge alone) but you can request a full jury trial if you want to. At least, that's how it works in my county.
Oh, I know civil cases can have juries. It's just less common, as far as I'm aware. I only mentioned it before because the story seems to want the case to be criminal rather than civil. It's still a fun read, of course, but the legal proceedings do require some extra suspension of disbelief, IMHO.
All valid points. I never claimed to know perfectly how the court system works, and of course, some things I did wrong on purpose because the story simply wouldn't have worked, or would have been uninteresting, if they were congruent with our court system.
Basically, blame Equestria rules or something.
(And also that's what I meant by "reputation", someone giving one of my newer works a chance because they liked an older one. I wouldnt expect anyone to change their opinion of a fic simply by discovering it was written by a certain author if they hadn't even read that author's prior work.)
This was incredibly fun and really gripping Love it!
nice work, surprisingly gripping.
I never thought I would read a fic that would make two obvious con-ponies the sympathetic characters.
I admit I predicted that Reasonable Doubt's spell wouldn't work on Derpy, however it was great to see that there was more to it than that. Also nice to see not-Steve get his comeuppance at the end.
All in all, a simple but thoroughly enjoyable fic!
I never thought I would actually LIKE those two guys, but I did! And overall, it was a good story. Derpy's questions about the "hammer" made me grin, and I repeated them out loud.
So, is there any chance for a sequel with Emerald and Reasonable Doubt seaking reveange on Flim, Flam and "Steve"?
Not really, no.
Unless I run out of other things to write.