Archived Discussion

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

From You Know That Thing Where:

Idle Dandy: OK, this is more of a thingy for Fan Speak. A fan thinks that his show invented a trope, or a saying, or a whatever, even though it's clearly existed before. It may even be one of The Oldest Ones in the Book. For instance, I just saw the saying "Revenge is a dish best served cold" referred to as an old Klingon proverb, and the person was not kidding. And it was on T Wo P, where if you type, "Are you f***ing kidding me" to another poster, you get banned.
  • Yeah, that was pretty effing stupid. About the "'Revenge is a dish best served cold' is NOT Klingon" thing—this troper's dad always told her it was an ITALIAN proverb, not a French one. Then again this troper's dad is Italian, so whatever. Who knows where it first came from?

For a less idiotic example, last year The 4400 did one of those "whole premise of the show is an illusion" episodes, which all the Buffy fans thought was ripping off "Normal Again" and all the Star Trek fans thought was ripping off "The Inner Light" and all the Ambrose Bierce fans said... well, you get the idea.

Ununnilium: Context Failure?

Red Shoe: In honor of a review I once saw on The Seven Samurai Is A Shameless Ripoff Of The Magnificent Seven. Or, if you want something less silly, The Two Towers, after the many many foolish people who assumed that the name of the second Lord of the Rings film was chosen to exploit the 9/11 attack. ... And the geek in me wants to point out that at no point is it ever suggested in Trek that "Revenge is a dish that is best served cold" is a Klingon proverb, only that there might be an equivalent proverb in Klingon.

Airbud: I've sometimes heard this phemomenon reffered to as "Backwards Time Universe".

Robert: Older Than They Think maybe? I'm pretty sure that this habit is as old as fandom. Using a recent example, like The Two Towers, would make the page a an example of itself, abit self-referential. Context Failure sounds to me like the name of a different trope - the failure of people to judge shows in context.

Sukeban: The Klingon attribution of the revenge proverb appears at the beginning of Kill Bill Vol.1, maybe that has given it its current popularity. Personally, I blame tachyons for this phenomenon :)

Morgan Wick: An example I was personally involved in is in this section of a tremendously huge page. If the link turns out to point to a different section, it involves someone seemingly thinking "Money is the root of all evil" comes from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.

Ununnilium: Maybe Origin Fallacy, or Referencentrism.

LTR - I liked the above suggested Older Than They Think , or maybe Older than You Think , short, sweet, and it builds off the fact that a lot of tropes are old, so old as you wonder why you sometimes don't see them coming yourself.

Errick - Oh geez.. I see this allllll the time, because apparently there's lots of folks out there that think every single joke ever came from The Simpsons, South Park, or Family Guy.

Ununnilium: ...I don't think Platonic ideals are an example of Cuckoo Nest.

Robin Goodfellow: I wanted to add a mention of "Shakespeare is best in the original Klingon" from Star Trek VI, because I'm prety sure it references some comment from Kruschev or someone about reading a classic Western text "in the original Russian," but I can't recall more than that, and can't find a clear source. Anyone?

Sci Vo: Closest I could find was some vague references to Lt. Chekov in the original series saying something like that about Shakespeare.
Morgan Wick: An example I was personally involved in is in this section of a tremendously huge page. If the link turns out to point to a different section, it involves someone seemingly thinking "Money is the root of all evil" comes from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.

Phartman: The best part about that quote is not only is the source incorrect (it's from the Bible, 1 Timothy 6:10), but so is the quote itself; It's the love of money that's the root of all evil.

Morgan Wick: So now not only do you interrupt in the middle of a discussion that is continued afterwards, you're interrupting what's intended to be a record of a YKTTW debate.

Phartman: I dare you to make me care.
thatother1dude: It seems to me this happen a lot with people misattributing Power Armor to various places besides Starship Troopers (which you can feel free to correct me if someone else thought that up).

Ophicius: To whoever added, "And, of course, Tolkien predates 9/11/01 by about 50 years." Yes, that was sort of the point.

T Servo 2049: I believe the Two Towers 9/11 complaint thing was actually an Internet hoax that everyone fell for? I might be wrong...

DonBoy: The bit in Tolkien about "no man can kill me" is surely an allusion to Macbeth, who is promised that "none of woman born shall harm Macbeth" and is eventually killed by Macduff, who conveniently was "from his mother's womb untimely ripped", which supposedly isn't the same as being "born". I call counter-trope!

MajorMajor: Added the "subversion", where a fan starts assuming some new invention grafted onto a classic is actually in the original. I've seen it at least often enough that I think it was worth mentioning, even if it doesn't deserve a separate entry.

  • This editor has always preferred "Ripped untimely from my Mother's womb" to the prosaic Caesarean section as the implication is that Macduff was significantly premature and the likelihood of his mother's death becomes more apparent to the modern reader.
  • The prophecy was "laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth." While this can be read as the "none" referring to "man," it could also be interpreted as a blanket "nobody of either gender born of woman."

Cool, but Conversation in the Main Page.

  • Not to be pedantic, but although many Monopoly boards are based on Atlantic City, the original and 'standard' model is of course based on London, England.
    • Not according to Wikipedia ([1]), and at least some of the links cited. The London version was produced a year after the Atlantic City version (though, due to Waddington Games apparently doing more international marketing, it is possible that their version may be more widespread).


  • This troper has heard Heroes accused of ripping off various comic book plotlines: Visiting a bad future, then returning to avert it? Days of Future Past! Attacking the world in order to save it? Watchmen! A disease that only attacks powered people? X-Men's Legacy Virus! I remember the show runners pointing out that Days of Future Past was hardly the first to do the time-travel bit, and I'm sure the others are also Older Than They Think.
    • While the "Attacking the World to save it" example probably has some even earlier source, this editor understands it was largely inspired by an episode from the original Outer Limits.
    • Of course, the creator put himself in the mess by constantly boasting it as a "fresh" take on superheroes.

Can you make the actual originals clearer here?

  • While I'm on the subject of RE4, Dr. Salvador (the potato sack-wearing chainsaw-wielding maniac)? Quite possibly a Shout-Out to Biggy Man, from the Sega Genesis game Splatterhouse 2.
  • More likely another in a long line of homages to /ripoffs of Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre).

"Maybe possibly a Shout-Out" doesn't really belong on this page.

Doug S. Machina: I thought that the Terry Pratchett quote was more about some people's refusal to believe that writers get their ideas by making them up, and everything is inpired by/ripped off something else. That quote continued with the fool who asked saying "Aha! So she stole the idea from you!"

Ununnilium: It is, but it still works here.

  • Uh, the original Street fighter was an utterly forgettable, So Badits Horrible game. This is obviously an attempt of both Capcom and Street Fighter fandom to pretend that it doesn't exist.

a.) The example is about fans doing this, not the company. b.) No.

Steel Beast 6 Beets: Hence why I included the "Street Fighter fadom" bit. But seeing how I fail to see the point of arguing with someone who arbitrary deletes entries just because he thinks they don't make the cut, which I consider to be a flagrant demonstration of blatant self-centered judgment, I'll refrain from taking further actions.

But, in the other hand, the prospect of a Edit war is certainly very tempting... So Yeah.

  • Of course, since the webcomic explicitely parodies various MMO[=RPGs=] but the writer and artist of The Noob loves to slip in references to old movies like The Rat Pack and classic literature like Dante's Divine Comedy, it's probably both.

Nah, this seemed like a straighforward RHPS reference.

  • Actually, the stereotype happens to be Older Than The Above Troper Thinks. Gandalf was influenced by Merlin of Arthurian legends and Odin of Norse myth. How ironic.

While Gandalf does indeed come from the Merlin tradition, he's added features which have been incorporated into the standard stereotype.

Also, the original King of Fighters entry was correct; emo's been around since 1985. Older Than You Think.

  • A lot of people think that having zombies move as fast as living humans is something that started with 28 Days Later, when The Return of the Living Dead did that in 1985.
    • Substitute Resident Evil 4 for the gaming community.
      • Indeed, the basic idea is even older — zombies as slow, lumbering things is mainly a Hollywood creation, and doesn't show up in most traditional lore about zombies and other similar creatures.
      • It's more complicated than that. Thanks to Night of the Living Dead and the army it spawned, the word 'zombie' has become attached to an entity ("aggressive reanimated flesh-eating corpse") that in earlier times would have been called a "ghoul". Zombies in Voudan ("voodoo") mythology are pretty much, yes, slow, lumbering and witless. The prospect of becoming one is far more scary than meeting one.

...well then it doesn't belong in here at all. ``

Later: Re-cutting the first one, and please at least give a reason on here if you're going to restore it.

Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: The point of that first entry you've cut twice isn't "zombies are older than you think" (when they aren't), but "fast, non-lumbering zombies are older than you think." So this troper will restore it—maybe with an edit or two.

Ununnilium: Ahhhh, okay then. Fair enough.

HeartBurn Kid: Cut this little bit out:
  • Namco preceded both Capcom and Sierra in releasing in 1988 the arcade game Splatterhouse, inventing the first scary haunted house in videogames, inventing a brawling hero one year before Final Fight was released and, thanks to gory and crudely realistic graphics (for 1988 games), releasing the first game to receive a "parental disclaimer", several years before Mortal Kombat.
Yeah, Splatterhouse was a fun game and all, but calling it a "survival horror" game is a bit of a stretch; and if you want to loosen the definition to include any game with a haunted/horror motif to include it, you must also include Castlevania and Haunted House, both of which precede it. It also didn't invent a "brawling hero" (Double Dragon, anybody?), nor was it the first game to attract the attention of Moral Guardians (Death Race).

  • Psionics and magic are indistinguishable, and in reality, the reason the term exists is to make it seem more plausible. However, nothing in it is particularly new, though it has strongly identified many tropes with "psychics" now. So much I could say about this (psionics and magic are only indistinguishable if you lump every single thing that falls outside the bounds of modern-day Earth science together, for one), but instead I'll just cut it for being off-topic and threatening Thread Mode.


I disagree. ``



Yet later: Was there any similarity beyond them having the same name?

  • This editor wouldn't watch The Mist finding too many similarities to John Carpenter's The Fog -from 1980.

Guess what year the short story came out!

Later still:
  • Given when and how Caesareans were done in Shakespeare's time, Mac Duff was probably "born of corpse".
  • This troper actually has a friend that plays World of Warcraft, and not only didn't know that the RTS games existed, but when I brought up the existence of the RTS games, he flat out refused to believe that the RTS games even exist, despite that I own all but the first, and I gave him a copy of Warcraft II several years ago as a birthday gift.

Conversation in the Main Page.

Prfnoff: That the Indiana Jones movies and the recent Mummy series draw on common source material doesn't mean the latter isn't a ripoff of the former:
Obviously, there were cinematic depictions of Egyptian tomb raiders long before Raiders of the Lost Ark, but apparently writer-director Stephen Sommers pitched his first Mummy movie "as a kind of Indiana Jones or Jason and the Argonauts with the mummy as the creature giving the hero a hard time." [2]

not to mention that Everquest, created 5 years prior to World of Warcraft, is pretty much identical to World of Warcraft in almost any aspect.

Oh c'mon. This is as silly an assertion that J. Random New MMO is identical to World of Warcraft in every aspect.

Scud East: Removed the Real Life example of the phrase "the greatest thing since sliced bread", which is Newer Than They Think (and already present on that page).

Kilyle: Just added "Who knew that a chivalrous vampire could be so popular?" plus links to Friendly Neighborhood Vampire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel The Series... and Anne Rice, but I'm not really sure if she fits because I've never read her stuff. Someone choose a more appropriate vampire.

Prfnoff: This is a digression. Everything past the first sentence was cut.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's 1951 novel, Between Planets, opens with the lead character receiving a mobile phone call while horseback riding. He answers with "Mobile 6-J-233309, Don Harvey speaking." Why it's necessary for the recipient of the call to recite his number to the person who just called it is unexplained.
    • Reading the phone number when answering is a common habit of this troper's elderly relatives. Of course, it's just the four-digit local number.
      • That's probably a habit from a time when calls were relayed through a switchboard station. Reciting the number would tell the caller if the switchboard operator had made the right connection or not. Even if the call was transmitted to a mobile phone.
      • Sometimes, people simply misdial, often by a single digit, and that's the fastest way to tell them that they did so. This troper almost always starts off answering machine or voice mail messages with the number, and, if it's a number that gets frequent misdials (our number was once one away from a local pizza place), will sometimes rattle off the number verbally.

(Given Capcom's tendency towards Super Street Fighter 2 Hyper Fighting Championship Edition: The New Challengers, of course, it's very probable that they don't know what the number 2 usually means either, but that's another story.)

A highly Conversation in the Main Page-y story, at that.

  • Metroid Prime did it before Doom as well. Did it quite well even.

Okay. Not much need for this specific example, though.

  • Apparently he's never read The Crying of Lot 49.
  • . . . you mean the thought experiments of James Clark Maxwell?


  • If one counts casino games, Nintendo Hard predates electronics, with a casino game known as Diana, which failed due to ridiculous odds.

This isn't really the same as Nintendo Hard; it's the difference between skill and luck.

Also, pulling out all music examples which belong under Covered Up.

  • The phrase "Dungeons & Dragons is a total rip off of Warhammer Fantasy".
    • Well it isn't the other way around.
      • D&D took ideas from Tolkien, Howard, Moorcock, Lovecraft, et al, not to mention pre-existing war games like Chainmail, so it can't claim originality except in a) bringing fantasy to wargaming, and b) taking on the role of a single warrior/wizard/etc.
      • Warhammer Fantasy started off as a wargame. The RPG version, if anything, was a reaction to D&D, just like RuneQuest and other RPGs of that era on this side of the pond.

This is basically covered in much less Thread Mode in the Warhammer entry, so...

  • This whole page makes this editor want to cry out of a mix of despair at the short memories and ignorance of his fellow man and the realisation that he is a complete geek.
    • Ramen, brother.

Do I have to say. >>

Trouser Wearing Barbarian: I think this is annoying, too, but it's Newer Than They Think, not this trope.
  • Any time someone releases any media in which you have a vampire that doesn't burn or go 'splodie in the sunlight, so-called "traditionalists" will whine and moan about how you just don't do that to vampires and how if they don't burn in the sun they're not really vampires anymore, yadda yadda yadda. In actuality, the original vampires had no such weakness, and there were many vampire novels (Dracula and its predecessors) that featured vampire characters traipsing in the sunshine.

Ununnilium: Plus it's covered in much more detail on the Our Vampires Are Different page.

  • Fandom sometimes has him as the descendant of Sherlock Holmes, given the similarity of their temperaments and appearances.

Interesting, but Conversation in the Main Page.

  • Though they resemble Iron Man far more than either.

In behavior.

  • Going even further back, yelling sentences began when cavemen spoke to each other at great distances with such phrases as "I! AM! THOG! THIS! IS! MY! CAVE!" and "WOULD YOU LIKE! TO JOIN ME! FOR DINNER? IT'S GOING! TO BE! STEW!"

Go to bed, John.

hardline This troper still believes that the cut wasn't used in Return of The Jedi because Orf wasn't dead yet.

Conversation in the Main Page.

  • This troper once read an interview of Daniel Radcliffe, who stated that he didn't like Green Day because "they sound way too much like Good Charlotte." Green Day was formed in 1987, Good Charlotte in 1996.
    • Actually, Radcliffe said "my problem with American punk is that it all sounds like Good Charlotte." This can be read more as a general "American punk sucks" statement than chronology issues.

Thus, not an example.

  • When the Madonna song "Material Girl" came out, it was frequently mentioned as either an embrace or a subtle criticism of Reagan era materialism. This despite similar gold-digger anthems being common when FDR was in the White House. As an example, "Why Don't You Do Right" was about half a century old when Jessica Rabbit sang it.

Well, that doesn't mean Material Girl wasn't an embrace/criticism of 80s materialism.

  • And, even older than those two, their prevalence in Order Of The Stick is more a statement on your standard hack and slash campaign in pen and paper groups, where the players are so disinterested in roleplaying they have no issue breaking the fourth wall and asking for "+1 swords" from the blacksmith.

Well, yeah, but that's more about the RPG-Mechanics Verse trope, not this.

  • One cellphone commercial delivered a Take That! at science fiction. It depicted a Deliberately Monochrome b-movie Space Cadet stepping off a Zeerust space ship landed in a present day city. He pulls out a brick-sized scifi communicator and struggles to get good reception, glaring irritatedly into the static-filled signal on its screen when a modern young woman rolls her eyes as she walks by, getting a nice clear call on her tiny little digital cellphone. Nice job sending 5kbps of data to a base station a mile away, let's see how small your video satellite phone is. what does that have to do with this trope?
>"And here this troper was expecting a reference to the fact that the story of Beowulf predates not only 300 but also the battle upon which it was (loosely) based. "

What are you talking about? 480 BC is a lot earlier than eitehr the events Beowulf refers to (5th-7th century, V÷lkerwanderung) or the olderst writings found of it (8th - 11th).

Lord Seth: I'd just like to declare that the picture on the page is hilarious.

Can we mention that the wing cap music from Super Mario 64 is the same as the Super Star music in Yoshi's Island? Just in case people thought that version of the song debuted in Super Mario 64. (one year gap between games)

goodyfun: If you haven't yet, I'd say go for it. This trope isn't called Older Than The Thing That Is Really Really Old.

I feel like pointing out that I haven't read Discworld, and I have no idea what the first page quote is about. Shouldn't a page quote be self-explanatory?

I've just restored an edit of mine which was deleted for what I regard as a false reason. The entry is:

  • What is usually called the "Christian" calendar was introduced, in substantially its present form, in 45BC — some 80 years before the birth of Christianity.

and the reason given for its deletion:

I assume you mean the Julian calendar, which bears the name of a Roman Emperor, and isn't used anymore except to date the feasts of the Orthodox Church. Nobody calls it the "Christian" calendar, and the name makes it sort of obvious when it dates to, so it's not really an example of this trope.

Really, nobody calls it the Christian calendar? Obviously "Tom in AZ" has either never read the Calendar FAQ, or else reckons that Claus T°ndering is "nobody". (Besides, I've come across plenty of other references to this as the "Christian" calendar, though I myself call it the "Roman" calendar.) As for "not being used anymore", the only difference between the Julian calendar (16th-century version), which incidentally according to the aforementioned FAQ is still used in some countries, and the Gregorian is a minor tweak in the frequency of leap years (and consequent adjustments in the calculation of Easter), and the only difference between it and the 45BC original is the renaming of "Sextillius" as "August" (and, according to one source, the transfer of one day to August from February). These are small potatoes compared to such things as the Julian calendar having January and February permanently added, which is how come the ninth to twelfth months are to this day named after the Latin for "seventh" to "tenth" — according to the FAQ, before 45BC only some years had eleventh and twelfth months, and when they were added they were called "Undecember" and "Duodecember".

Hence I believe this is a perfectly legitimate example.

Unknown Troper: An interesting point is that the concept of the leap year itself is rather older than most people might think, because the Egyptians tried in back in 238 BCE, but unfortunately it never really caught on.

Somebody has deleted a bunch of examples on the (to my mind spurious) ground that "strike tag considered harmful". Really? And by whom? Especially since it meant that amongst others, they deleted the (perfectly legitimate) example of Stonkers, which used the strike tag only to invoke the Running Gag "it's definitely not Stonkers". If the strike tag is so harmful (then why does it exist in the available markup at all?), the two struck-out words could be deleted without having to nuke the entire example.

I reproduce the example (which of course I've restored) below; judge for yourself.

  • The very first RTS is definitely not widely believed to be Stonkers (Imagine, ZX Spectrum, 1984).

Since writing the above, I've come across another decidedly-not-harmful use of a strike tag which I've made, on the Newer Than They Think page; I wanted to bring up the myth that mahjong had supposedly been invented by the ancient Chinese philosopher Kung-Fu-Tzu (or Kong Fuzi according to another transliteration of his name), but if I'd left it at that few if any readers would know who I was referring to. So I referred to him by the Jesuidiot Latin mangling rendering of the name (Confucius), and struck that out to show that although it's the most widely-known version, in my opinion at least it's not the most accurate version.

Unknown Troper: Nuked this piece of digusting Natter by dechha1981:
** Tempourary? Yes. SHALLOW? No. Most of the world really did feel sorry for America. We only stopped feeling sorry for a America the very second they decied to do the exact same thing that the Muslims did to them, making Bush the Ultimate Hypocrite

Nothing more than a Take That Rant by a Single-Issue Wonk trying to equate 9/11 to the Iraq War while slipping in an obnoxious dig on Bush (as if we haven't seen enough of those). More to the point, it has nothing to do with the example onto which he slapped this crap. (Besides, who does he think he's fooling? The hatred people have for the United States and Americans is clearly documented in examples like Misplaced Nationalism and Eagleland.)

I'm glad I caught this the day he added it.

— "reason: Try again, that's all based on characters (did I mention standard heroic fare?), scenes (you're bound to have a few similarities, if you can call it that when the characters aren't even the same) and hearsay (which is bound to crop up). 19/Jan/10 at 02:47 AM by Matt II Deleted line 122:
  • LITTLE bit more than that... "

So... the apparent fact that it's got the same story, characters that differ only in color and minor physical details, and scenes that are themselves different only in minor details is completely irrelevant?