[[quoteright:266:[[PimpedOutCape http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/degrees_of_a_pimped_out_cape_9292.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:266:[-A PimpedOutCape can be done in many ways, from simply edging it [[PrettyInMink with fur]][[note]]''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast''[[/note]] to covering most of it with [[GoldMakesEverythingShiny gold embroidery]].[[note]]''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors 7''[[/note]]-] ]]

A rarely stated, but fairly common, belief here is that some tropes are rigid, and that the only variation comes with PlayingWithATrope. Or some here think that most tropes are rigid, unless "Sliding Scale" is in the name. But it's not really true at all (also the reason we have Administrivia/TheSameButMore).

Even in the most narrowly defined {{Sub Trope}}s, there is plenty of room for variation, even when playing straight. And there can even be degrees of how the trope is applied, which is certainly the reason we don't allow Administrivia/TheSameButMore.

Two of the most common variations for a trope are the scale, and the importance in the story. But there are quite a few other ways to allow for trope variations.

The only actual thing rigid about tropes is the cutoff between one trope and another, or at least that is what we are striving for. Even when it involves {{Super Trope}}s and {{Sub Trope}}s, or if there is [[SisterTrope overlap with another trope]], those tropes are still separate.

So the next time you think a trope is separate from another trope, make sure the line is clear. If it's not, you didn't make a mistake, other than underestimate how flexible tropes are.

Compare PlayingWithATrope, DownplayedTrope, ExaggeratedTrope.

Contrast SquarePegRoundTrope (when an example doesn't fit the trope no matter how you twist it around).
!!To best illustrate this concept, examples should be straight uses, with only some [[PlayingWithATrope playing with them]]
* AllJustADream has quite a broad scope. It can be used for a single scene, entire episodes, entire seasons (''Series/{{Dallas}}''), or even [[MindScrew the entire series]] (''Series/StElsewhere''). It can be a regular dream (''Film/TheWizardOfOz''), a [[CuckoosNest psychotic delusion of innocence]] told by an UnreliableNarrator (''Film/TheCabinetOfDrCaligari'') or even a "simulation" (''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''; 6th season, episodes 4th and 5th).
** ''Series/{{Newhart}}'' managed to make fun of this, ''and'' [[UpToEleven crank it up even further]] by claiming that series was the dream of a character (played by the same actor) in ''another series'' (namely ''Series/TheBobNewhartShow'').
* XanatosGambit and BatmanGambit are both about specific types of ingenious plans. The thing is, there is nothing saying they have to be of a certain scale. Using these plans could involve just getting a promotion from your boss, to [[TakeOverTheWorld world conquest]].
* A work featuring a StuckAtTheAirportPlot need not take place at an actual airport. Any old bus or train station will do.
* In terms of MalevolentArchitecture, console {{Roleplaying Game}}s tend to have loads of enemies, but rarely any hazards in the buildings, save for the occasional lava floor. On the other hand, ''TabletopGame/TombOfHorrors'' is infamous for having loads of traps in every room.
* SexSells has a wide range, from just attractive people in a picture, to acts that just scream "[[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything DOES THIS REMIND YOU OF ANYTHING]]?"
* AdultFear is about anything that a well-adjusted adult with common sense would be scared about. While children being in danger is a common source of this, examples don't always need to be about them; things like the threat of losing one's home (due to a fire, natural disaster, not being able to pay the rent, etc.), humans rights violations, domestic terrorism, [[EvilDebtCollector debt collectors]], and PoliceBrutality are all things that can happen in everyday real life.
* ThatOneBoss, ThatOneLevel, [[ThatOneIndex etc.]] need not be ball-bustingly hard, they just need to be noticably hard''er'' than most of the game.