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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Mr Etaoin Shrdlu: We should have a list of tropes which The Other Wiki has articles on. Off the top of my head:


Nate The Great: A few of these seem like they would fit better into Nonindicative Name. A little help sorting?
WVI: Okay, this article is getting way too many wicks from people who think "Hey, that title is what it is"! No, "Final Smash" doesn't count at all, are you kidding me? I'm increasingly finding entries along the lines of: There's a weapon in this game called Baseball Bat. It's a baseball bat. This also doesn't count for things like levels in video games, like "Spooky Castle" or whatever.

Doug S Machina: "The web story John Dies at the End. He doesn't." Should that disqualify it from this trope?


Deus Ex Biotica: Okay. Ladies and gentlemen, I know that most of you have heard a title which is not completely obscure and incomprehensible. I am suitably impressed. However, this page is looking for something a little more specific than that. A simple litmus test is this: if someone with no knowledge at all of the show/book/movie/etc in question were told the title, could they tell you the premise? If so, it fits. If that title is actually "Transformers" (which could be about shapeshifting people, or for that matter, power generators), or "Avatar the Last Airbender" (which makes up a new meaning for the word avatar, then pairs it with something entirely made up), it does not fit. I am perplexed by the number of entries like "The Indian in the Cupboard" (which does not even mention the crucial fact that it is about animated toys) for a Trope as explicit as this.

Lord Seth: I'm confused. Shouldn't the title of this trope be Exactly What It Says On The Title rather than Exactly What It Says on the Tin?

BT The P: That title is something of a catch phrase for someone on the site, and is apparently a commonly-used expression somewhere. I'll say England, because that's where they call sealed metal packages "tins" most often.

Diapsid: It's a pretty common saying in Britain meaning...well, that something does exactly what it sounds like it does. I'm not sure if it originated the phrase, but there's a series of adverts for a company called Ronseal that sells DIY products called things like, "Ronseal really strong glue," and, "Ronseal Varnish Sealant." The tagline? Does exactly what it says on the tin.

Doug S. Machina: If the Ronseal ads didn't invent the phrase they certainly shoved into the public mind. Without much fuss, they would show a man varnishing a fence, who told us it would soon be dry. "Ronseal Quick Drying Varnish. Does exactly what it says on the tin." Followed by an ad that was selling a car, or possibly a perfume. It's hard to tell.

Kenb215 I agree with Deus Ex Biotica. This is where the title tells you the plot, not the main character or the subject. Moved most of the examples that I'm pretty sure don't fit:

  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!!. Sounds like (and parodies) Super Punk Octo Pudding Gas Mark Seven, but like the article says, it's about exactly what it sounds like.
    • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are, well, mutant turtles who are both teenagers and ninja.
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender has a main character who is the Avatar (the local version of the Chosen One) and the last Airbender.
      • Nearly every episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender is the currently important place/person/object/event: "The Library", "The Earth King", "The Waterbending Scroll", "The Siege of the North".
    • And, to prove this has been around for a while, the Transformers transformed.
      • They still do. The latest cartoon is called... wait for it... Transformers Animated. As though the earlier series weren't animated. (To be fair, it's to distinguish it from The Movie, and was originally suppose to be Transformers: Heroes.) Other series that give us a double dose are Beast Wars (with a cast of animal Transformers) and Robots in Disguise, which is at least better than Car Robots.
  • How about then the ABC series Dirty Sexy Money?
  • Kindergarten Cop was definitely one of these.
  • The uber example: SNAKES. ON. A. PLANE. Enough said. (It's already listed, but it's worth listing twice.)
  • Dirt. As this troper liked to joke about it: "It's too obvious. Why don't they just say it's full of sex and violence?"
    • But if it really were, then wouldn't we have 48 scintillating minutes of a camera focusing on a patch of clay?
  • The Flying Nun features Sally Field as a nun. Who can fly.

Again, this is supposed to be for when the title describes the plot or premise:
  • Arguably, Star Wars.
  • [[Bartender]] is about, well, a bartender.
  • Cordwainer Smith's Science Fiction story "Mark Elf" is a clever misdirection - there are no elves in the story and nobody called Mark, but the heroine finds a (fortunately deactivated) killer robot with a nameplate reading "Mark Elf" - in German. In other words, "Type Eleven".

Bein Sane: Cut Simpsons episode title "Das Bus" as an example. It's a reference to "Das Boot." The rest of them fit, though.

Malimar: Added USA, USSR, UK, PRC, and HRE to geography. Obviously they can be removed if people think they don't fit, but I think they fit this trope significantly better than the buffalo jump one does, at least. I refrained from adding less interesting/less inherently evocative nations like South Africa, Netherlands, Vatican City, or Ecuador, and also refrained from adding subnational units like South Australia, West Australia, Northern Territory (Australia), or Northwest Territory (Canada), not wanting to dilute the message too much.

Blink Dawg has some trouble accepting the idea/statement that the USA are located on the continent of America....
Seven Seals: Removed this:
  • Of course, Weird Al's song did contain numerous other lyrics. And the phrase "This Song Is Just Six Words Long" is... well, it's seven words long.
Because someone apparently missed the word "parodied". And the song's official title is "(This Song's Just) Six Words Long", even though Al clearly sings "is" separately... So Yeah.
KAM: While the stuff about Los Angeles & Rhode Island's long names are interesting trivia bits, I fail to see how they are examples of Exactly What It Says on the Tin?
CA Lieber: Doesn't pretty much every title in Character Name and the Noun Phrase full under this? It's about Character. Who has or interacts with a Noun Phase.
Some Guy: Wiped out a lot of the page. I should have taken out more, frankly. Seriously guys, some of you are defining this trope in such a way that practically everything is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.

Blork: Removed some more examples, and there are plenty more I could have taken out: This trope is not just "the title isn't completely random", you should be able to hear the title with no previous knowledge of the show and come up with a reasonably good idea of the story:

  • Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. That is all.
    • Though in all honesty, Santa doesn't so much "Conquer" the Martians as "hangs out with".
    • And they weren't really Martian so much as people with very poor green makeup.
  • Young People Fucking. Surprisingly, it's not a porn movie. Whoever was making Parallel Porn Titles must have had a difficult task ahead of them, though.
    • The title actually sparked a minor political scandal, as the film was funded with public money (like the vast majority of Canadian films), and many who assumed it was a case of this trope (but didn't see it) were outraged that their tax dollars paid for porn. It resulted in Bill C-10 (which would have denied funding/tax credits to controversial projects) being tabled, but the idea was abandoned during the following election campaign.
If the example description needs to specifically point out that it's not what you think it is, it's not this trope.
  • I'm putting this back. The title is a perfect summary of the plot, which is the basis of the trope. the fact that the genre might be misinterpreted is irrelevant. People might think Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay is a drama instead of a comedy if they knew nothing else about it, but they can still tell you the plot.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a film version of The Rocky Horror Show, which was a stage show centered around a being called Rocky Horror.
Right, so what's it about? If it looks like Super Punk Octo Pudding Gas Mark Seven, it's not this trope. There's no way you could have worked out the additional information given here without watching the show.
  • An Excellent Mystery by Ellis Peters is an excellent mystery.
    • However, the name is not generic, being part of the scripture quote at the end of the story - but stating the full quote might constitute a spoiler.
The title gives us a broad idea of the genre, but I can't even guess what the actual plot is.
  • Gimmick! for the NES. Most video games, including Super Mario Bros include gimmicks (in Mario's case, kicking koopa shells for an example) but that title was honest. In this case, it's main character's projectile which can also be used to ride on. If you're skilled enough.
There is no way you could have worked out what the gimmick was from the title alone.


Nezumi: Erm... not entirely sure why the Dead Boy Detectives were removed during the latest cleanup. They are exactly what they sound like. In fact, a few of the other removals seem a bit iffy to me, as well.