An adage says "All Comedy is Rooted in Truth," that nothing is funnier than being able to recognize the situation the characters are in. The same can be said of drama, that you are more willing to accept the scenario if you have experienced something similar.
This goes one step beyond simple Truth in Television
, which is about a factual element that fiction managed to get right. This trope is when a story is told that a great many members of the viewing audience have experienced themselves can relate to the emotions of the characters.
This can be referred to as keeping a character "relate-able," that keeping them linked to reality helps foster sympathy for them. In a contrast, sometimes events or behaviors that are common in the circumstances given are dismissed as being unrealistic
Compare Write What You Know
and Slice of Life
(Authors Note- This is one of those tropes where it toes the line between main trope and YMMV. I would prefer it to be a main trope as this IS something used by actual writers, but I'm not sure how it will used by the actual wiki.)
- The Big Bang Theory presents individuals who were in the extreme spectrum of being both college educated and gigantic nerds. Toss Penny, who is neither, into the group and you get the experiences of someone who has to interact with those kinds of people. There is a HUGE section of the fandom that inferred Sheldon has Asperger's Syndrome and have bonded to the character because of it.
- How I Met Your Mother tosses together a close-knit group of friends and while their adventures sometimes reach the level of a cartoon short, it captures their interactions as being the way a group of friends operates and the social issues they come across. For instance, at Lily and Marshalls wedding they were so busy being congratulated by everyone they were unable to eat and were starving. This is a common thing to happen at weddings.
- Roger Ebert brought up in his review of Frequency that he has an old audio recording of his father, who passed away some time prior. Watching the film made him think of that tape and knowing that it would be too hard to listen to.
- One of the big praises given to My Big Fat Greek Wedding is that nearly everyone has a family they are a little embarrassed over, so even if you are not Greek you can empathize with the people.