[[quoteright:186:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Stephen-King-2max.jpg]]
[[quoteright:186:[-In the time it took for you to look at this picture, he just wrote a 1500 page novel.-] ]]

->''"It was a nice day... '''[+AND THEN EVIL CAME!+]"'''''
-->-- The Collected Work of Stephen King, [[http://rinkworks.org/bookaminute/b/king.shtml ultra-condensed version]]

The current dominant author of the horror genre (although he prefers to not consider himself such), Stephen Edwin King (1947-) has added much to its stock of tropes. Many of his works reference each other, building up a larger [[TheVerse universe]]. Known for being ludicrously prolific but also for producing far better writing than most people who pump out stories at his rate, and many who take a lot longer about it.

Many of his books have been [[TheFilmofTheBook made into films]]. Few of those have been good films, and most of those that are good are, ironically, ''not'' horror films, with the most standout exception being ''Film/TheShining'', even if it is very different from the book. This is often due to the directors of the given movies having no idea how to convey the thoughts of King's characters, which often affect their situations just as much as their actions, into workable scenes.

King is also in a rock band with a shifting lineup of fellow writers (including DaveBarry, Creator/AmyTan, Ridley Pearson, and Mitch Albom) called The Rock Bottom Remainders. He is the father of horror author Creator/JoeHill, and is purportedly the inspiration for the ''GIJoe'' character Crystal Ball (his son Owen is the namesake for the character Sneak Peak).

For a list of his works which have pages on the wiki, see WorksByStephenKing.

[[IReadThatAs Not to be confused with]] StephenHawking.
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[[folder:Stephen King's Works (in order)]]
* ''Literature/{{Carrie}}'' - ScrapbookStory about [[ButtMonkey an abused girl]] with PsychicPowers who takes a terrible revenge at the prom. King's wife stopped him from throwing the manuscript out and convinced him to finish it. Made into a movie by Creator/BrianDePalma that received two Academy Award nominations (for acting), which later received [[Film/TheRageCarrie2 a sequel]] and a [[MadeForTVMovie made-for-TV]] [[TheRemake remake]]. It was also made into an infamously terrible musical that has become a byword for "flopped on Broadway", though a 2011/12 revival did modestly well and even produced a cast album.
* ''Literature/SalemsLot'' - [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Vampires]] in a small town in Maine, and the efforts of a few to get rid of them. Made into two TV miniseries. King's first visit to the Creepy Small Town, which he keeps coming back to, under a variety of names and states. Notable that his publisher advised him ''not'' to have this as his second book, lest he be pigeonholed as a horror novelist. Guess they got over it.
* ''Literature/TheShining'' - Winter spent in a haunted hotel. Cabin fever taken to the extreme. Twice adapted as movies; first a loose adaptation by Creator/StanleyKubrick, which King was not very satisfied with, then a more faithful TV miniseries scripted/watched over by King himself. The arguments about which version is "better" have been [[BrokenBase long and passionate]].
* ''Literature/NightShift'' - Anthology of short stories, several of which have been adapted into movies:
** "[[Film/ChildrenOfTheCorn1984 Children of the Corn]]"
** ''Film/CatsEye'' -- Featured three Stephen King stories including two from this anthology, "The Ledge" and "Quitters, Inc."
** "Literature/TheMangler"
** "Trucks" -- adapted twice, once as ''Film/MaximumOverdrive'' and once more-faithfully as ''Film/{{Trucks}}''
** "Film/TheLawnmowerMan" -- A bit of a special case. ''Lawnmower Man'' was purported to be derived from the Stephen King story but had so little to do with it (even citing that there's a lawnmower in both stories is a stretch) that King actually took legal action to remove his name from it. The original title was Cyber God, and the Stephen King title was only brought on board to raise sales. Later adapted into a ''much'' more faithful ComicBook story.
** "Film/GraveyardShift" -- A young drifter gets hired at a dilapidated textile plant, and is picked by the {{Jerkass}} foreman for a team tasked to clean out the plant's basement. They find rats. A ''[[SwarmOfRats lot]]'' of [[RodentsOfUnusualSize rats...]]
** "Battleground" was adapted into a segment of the TNT miniseries ''Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King''.
** "The Boogeyman" and "The Woman in the Room" were both adapted into short films (the former directed by Jeffrey Schiro, the latter by Frank Darabont [''Film/TheShawshankRedemption'', ''Film/TheGreenMile'']), and packaged into a 1986 VHS presentation entitled ''Stephen King's Nightshift Collection''.
** "Sometimes They Come Back" was adapted into a 1991 TV movie starring Tim Matheson. Two sequels followed: ''Sometimes They Come Back...Again'' (1996) and ''Sometimes They Come Back...For More'' (1999). Neither sequel had anything to do with the characters or events of the original.
* ''Literature/TheStand'' - AfterTheEnd, good and evil clash as a [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters dozen characters]] journey across the land. The unabridged version of ''The Stand'' could probably [[DoorStopper be used as one]]. Made into a TV miniseries, with a new feature film in the works, as well as a tie-in ComicBook series.
* ''Literature/TheDeadZone'' - The protagonist is plagued by visions of a terrible future. Made into a movie starring Creator/ChristopherWalken (and directed by DavidCronenberg, no less), and then served as loose inspiration for a TV series. Notable as a prominent American novel containing [[spoiler:the "lone gunman" assassin figure as the main hero/protagonist]]; King has stated that his original concept was, "Could you make [[spoiler:Lee Harvey Oswald]] the good guy?"
* ''Literature/{{Firestarter}}'' - Andy [=McGee=] and his daughter Charlie are on the run from the GovernmentConspiracy, which wants to use their psychic powers for their own nefarious uses. The father is a known factor, but they have no idea what Charlie is capable of. The story may have invented the psychic power of "pyrokinesis". Made into a movie starring GeorgeCScott and a young Creator/DrewBarrymore.
* ''Literature/{{Cujo}}'' - Mother and son trapped in TheAllegedCar by the titular rabid dog. Made into [[Film/{{Cujo}} a movie]] by Lewis Teague, who would go on to direct ''Film/CatsEye''. By this point, King's substance abuse was so bad that he ''cannot remember'' writing this book.
* ''Literature/TheGunslinger'' - First in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series starring a protagonist that embodies that [[TheGunslinger exact trope]], searching for the ultimate truth.
--> The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
* ''Literature/DifferentSeasons'' - Anthology of four novellas with [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming Idiosyncratic Episode Subtitling]]:
** "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (or, Hope Springs Eternal)" - HopeSpringsEternal, even in prison. Made into [[Film/TheShawshankRedemption the number-one movie on the IMDb's Top 250]].
** "Apt Pupil (or, Summer of Corruption)" - A teenage boy learns about the Holocaust right from the source. Made into a movie starring Sir Creator/IanMcKellen.
** "The Body (or, Fall from Innocence)" - Four young friends trek into the woods to see another boy's corpse. Made into a movie under the title ''Film/StandByMe''.
** "The Breathing Method (or, A Winter's Tale)" - A woman wants to keep her child, no matter what. Has never been made into a movie, and it would probably be really hard to do so.
* ''Literature/{{Christine}}'' - The CoolCar from Hell. Made into a film directed by Creator/JohnCarpenter.
* ''Literature/PetSematary'' - Sometimes the dead walk. Sometimes, [[CameBackWrong dead is better.]] Made into a movie with the screenplay written by King and a kick-ass theme song by Music/TheRamones, personally commissioned by King.
* ''Literature/CycleOfTheWerewolf'' - A small Maine town is menaced by a [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent werewolf]] over the course of a year. A sort of combination short novella and GraphicNovel, featuring illustrations by Bernie Wrightson (of ''Comicbook/SwampThing'' fame). Made into a movie, ''Film/SilverBullet''.
* ''Literature/TheTalisman'' - Epic quest across America and its alternate-dimensional cousin, co-written with Peter Straub. A proposed film (and/or miniseries) adaptation has been in DevelopmentHell since 1985, with such names as Creator/WillSmith, Creator/MichaelJFox, and Creator/StevenSpielberg being connected with the project at various times.
* ''Literature/SkeletonCrew'' - Anthology of short stories, including:
** "Literature/TheMist": An eerie, impenetrable fog brings monsters into our world. It's gone on to influence a number of highly influential games, such as ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'' and ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}''. Made into a movie starring Thomas Jane.
** "The Raft": Teenagers trapped on a wooden raft by something resembling a carnivorous oil slick. Adapted as a segment of ''Film/{{Creepshow 2}}''.
** "Gramma": A child learns his invalid grandmother was a witch in the most hideous way imaginable. Adapted as an episode of the 1985 revival of ''Series/TheTwilightZone''.
** "Word Processor of the Gods" was also adapted as an episode of ''Series/TalesFromTheDarkside''.
* ''Literature/{{IT}}'' - A small Maine city is infected by an EldritchAbomination disguised as a MonsterClown, and only the children know. Made into a TV miniseries most notable for Creator/TimCurry's horrifying portrayal of said clown.
* ''Literature/TheEyesOfTheDragon'' - {{Fantasy}} fairy tale of a king imprisoned, a brother on the throne, and the EvilChancellor who might be just a [[CanonWelding tad familiar.]]
* ''Literature/{{Misery}}'' - Author held prisoner by deranged fan. King said that ''Misery'' is a metaphor for substance addiction, which he was struggling with at the time. Made into an Academy Award-winning movie (for acting).
* ''Literature/TheDrawingOfTheThree'' - Second ''Dark Tower'' book. The gunslinger calls his TrueCompanions, and boundaries of worlds are crossed.
* ''Literature/TheTommyknockers'' - A flying saucer slowly mutates a town's populace into aliens. Really stupid aliens...with absurdly advanced technology (as the book puts it, they're Thomas Edisons rather than Albert Einsteins). It's not a good combination. Like ''Misery'', another excellent metaphor for addiction and co-dependency. In ''On Writing'', King states that he did not intend the story to be a metaphor, but that his subconscious probably did. Made into a miniseries starring Jimmy Smits and Marg Helgenberger.
* '' Literature/TheDarkHalf'' - A writer's pseudonym comes to life, and he's not happy. Yet another substance addiction metaphor, as explained by King in the introduction. Written just after King was "outed" as the man behind Richard Bachman, and inspired a little bit thereof. Made into a movie starring Timothy Hutton and directed by George Romero. Also, made into a VideoGame nobody remembers anymore.
* ''Literature/FourPastMidnight'' - Anthology of four novellas:
** "TheLangoliers" - Passengers on a flight going through a storm get stranded in a dying, empty copy of their world, with a [[ClockRoaches strange noise]] growing closer... Made into a TV miniseries.
** "Secret Window, Secret Garden" - An odd tale about the price of celebrity, in a way. Made into a movie (''Film/SecretWindow''), starring JohnnyDepp.
** "The Library Policeman" - Everybody's worst childhood fears about what happens when you lose a library book, except real and happening to adults.
** "The Sun Dog" - A prequel to '' Literature/NeedfulThings'', about a [[MagicalCamera Polaroid camera with a dark power]].
* '' Literature/NeedfulThings'' - [[TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday A shop with bargains galore]], each at [[DealWithTheDevil a terrible price]]. Made into a movie which starred Creator/MaxVonSydow.
* ''Literature/TheWasteLands'' - Third in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series. Roland's TrueCompanions are completed, and travels through the decaying remains of [[AfterTheEnd a world that has moved on.]]
* ''Literature/GeraldsGame'' - Bondage gone wrong...as in, "husband dies of heart attack while wife is still [[ChainedToABed handcuffed to the bed]]" wrong. As of 2014, some [[Film/{{Oculus}} mad]] [[Film/{{Absentia}} fool]] is reportedly planning to make this into a movie. First of the "abused wife" trilogy.
* ''Literature/DoloresClaiborne'' - "Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto." Made into a movie starring Kathy Bates (RottenTomatoes gives it 87%). Second of the "abused wife" trilogy (explicitly connected by a solar eclipse and weird empathy to ''Gerald's Game'').
* ''Literature/NightmaresAndDreamscapes'' - Anthology of short stories, some of which were adapted for cable TV in a miniseries of the same name.
** The TNT miniseries adapted "The End of the Whole Mess," "Umney's Last Case," "Crouch End," "The Fifth Quarter" and "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band."
** "Film/TheNightFlier" was adapted into a 1997 HBO film starring Miguel Ferrer.
** "Chattery Teeth" was adapted into the second half of the 1997 FOX-TV film ''Quicksilver Highway'', starring Christopher Lloyd (The first half was based on the short story "The Body Politic" by Creator/CliveBarker).
** "The Moving Finger" was filmed as the series finale of the horror anthology ''Monsters'' (and starred Tom Noonan as Howard Mitla).
** "Dolan's Cadillac" was made into a 2009 thriller starring Wes Bentley and Christian Slater.
** The original script of "Sorry, Right Number," which was broadcast as an episode of ''Series/TalesFromTheDarkside'', appears in this collection.
* ''Literature/{{Insomnia}}'' - Elderly widower becomes involved in a struggle to determine the fate of the universe. No relation to the 1997 Norwegian movie thriller of the same title or its [[Film/{{Insomnia}} 2002 American remake]] with Creator/AlPacino and Creator/RobinWilliams.
* ''Literature/RoseMadder'' - Abused wife escapes her cop husband, starts over in a new city. Husband finds her, but not before she finds help from someone...or some''thing''. Third of the "abused wife" trilogy (subtly connected to ''Gerald'' and ''Dolores'').
* ''Literature/TheGreenMile'' - A man with healing powers [[spoiler:faces a death sentence]]. Made into a movie starring Creator/TomHanks and Creator/MichaelClarkeDuncan.
* ''Literature/{{Desperation}}'' - AU version of ''The Regulators''. Travelers get caught in the wrong desert, in the wrong little town, at the absolute worst time. Made into a TV movie featuring Creator/RonPerlman as the crazy demon-possessed sheriff.
* ''Literature/WizardAndGlass'' - Fourth ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' book, mainly revolving around Roland's former [[TrueCompanions ka-tet]] and his personal ILetGwenStacyDie.
* ''Literature/BagOfBones'' - A grieving widower returns to his old vacation home since his wife's death only to realize it's nestled in a TownWithADarkSecret. Made into a two-part movie aired on A&E.
* ''Literature/TheGirlWhoLovedTomGordon'' - A little girl gets lost in the Appalachians...with no supplies...for weeks. Made into a pop-up book.
* ''Literature/HeartsInAtlantis'' - Vietnam-era story anthology. First story was made into a movie, and has [[CanonWelding some connection]] to the Dark Tower series.
* ''Literature/{{Dreamcatcher}}'' - Four old friends get stuck out in the forest on a hunting trip, right when the aliens land. Made into a movie.
* ''Literature/BlackHouse'' - Sequel to ''Literature/TheTalisman'', again co-written with Peter Straub.
* ''Literature/FromABuick8'' - Rural Pennsylvania police keep a car - or some ''[[CosmicHorror thing]]'' shaped like one - secreted away from John Q Public. After finishing it, King was hit by a van [[LifeImitatesArt while the driver was throwing meat to his dogs]] and [[AuthorExistenceFailure nearly died]]. He worked the accident into the ''Dark Tower'' books that he had yet to write.
* ''Everything's Eventual'' - Anthology of short stories, including the following:
** "Film/FourteenOhEight" - An author attempts a stay in a haunted hotel room; things only get worse for him from then on out. Made into a movie starring John Cusack.
** "Riding the Bullet" - [[BewareOfHitchhikingGhosts A man trying to hitchhike to his dying mother's side hitches a ride with a terrifying man.]] Originally an [=eBook=], also made into a film.
** "Everything's Eventual" - A young man is hired by [[TheSyndicate a shadowy individual]] to send emails that [[BrownNote make the recipients commit suicide]].
** "The Little Sisters of Eluria" - A ''Dark Tower'' side story, where Roland meets some strange vampires.
** "Autopsy Room Four" and "The Road Virus Heads North," both adapted as segments of the TNT miniseries ''Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King''.
* ''Literature/WolvesOfTheCalla'' - Fifth ''Dark Tower'' book.
* ''Literature/SongOfSusannah'' - Sixth ''Dark Tower'' book.
* ''Literature/TheDarkTower'' - Seventh and last (chronologically speaking) ''Dark Tower'' book.
* ''The Colorado Kid'' - Murder mystery that ends [[spoiler:as unsolved as ever]]. Served as (extremely) loose inspiration for the [[Creator/SciFiChannel SyFy]] television series ''Series/{{Haven}}''.
* ''Literature/{{Cell}}'' - A cellphone-based ZombieApocalypse. A movie adaptation is currently mired in DevelopmentHell.
* ''Literature/LiseysStory'' - A love story with a horrific edge; King's examination of what his wife's life might have been like if he had been killed in the car accident. [[http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1gqzn2/i_am_stephen_king_novelist_executive_producer_on/camwn7z King's personal favorite]].
* ''Literature/DumaKey'' - A man discovers his paintings can alter reality.
* ''Literature/JustAfterSunset'' - His newest anthology of short fiction.
** "N." - A psychiatrist finds himself pulled into his dead patient's delusion. Adapted into a multi-part cutout-animated video series before publication.
** "The Cat from Hell" - A professional hitman is commissioned to kill a demonic housecat. One of King's earliest short stories; it was adapted as part of ''Film/TalesFromTheDarksideTheMovie''.
* ''Literature/UnderTheDome'' - A town comes apart at the seams after it's enclosed inside a mysterious barrier. Made into a TV series.
* ''Blockade Billy'' - Story of a baseball player mysteriously erased from the record books...and for a pretty good reason.
* ''Morality'' - An aged Presbyterian minister wants to commit one serious sin before he dies, and pays his housekeeper a six-figure sum to help him.
* ''Literature/FullDarkNoStars'' - A collection of four short stories.
* ''Literature/ElevenTwentyTwoSixtyThree'' - Man travels back in time to prevent the assassination of UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy. [[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct The results are...interesting.]]
* ''Literature/TheWindThroughTheKeyhole'' - The eighth book in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series, but serves as an interquel to ''Wizard and Glass'' and ''Wolves of the Calla''.
* ''Literature/{{Joyland}}'' - A coming of age story/ghost story/murder mystery that takes place in an amusement park.
* ''Literature/DoctorSleep'' - A sequel to Literature/TheShining, following Danny thirty years later.
* ''Literature/MrMercedes'' - King's "first hard-boiled detective book" about an ex-cop tracking down a mass murderer. Part one of a planned trilogy.
* ''Revival'' - An upcoming novel. So far the only thing known about it is its title.
* ''Finders Keepers'' - The sequel to ''Mr. Mercedes.'' Due out in 2015.

Aside from his own work, King also wrote a number of novels under the PenName of Richard Bachman:
* ''Literature/{{Rage}}'' - A kid commits a school shooting and has a strange discussion with his classmates. Written long before the events at UsefulNotes/{{Columbine}} High School. No longer in print by King's request.
* ''Literature/TheLongWalk'' - In a dystopian alternate version of 1980s America, the government runs a contest every year: 100 teenaged male contestants, selected from thousands of entrants nationwide, are sent on the titular journey down the Eastern Seaboard. The rules are simple: Walk. Do not leave the road. Maintain a speed of at least 4 miles per hour. Fall under that speed and draw a warning. Fall under that speed with 3 warnings and you are shot. Last walker alive wins his heart's desire. The story follows one year's group of 100, with predictable results.
* ''Literature/{{Roadwork}}'' - The planned demolition of a man's home for a highway extension sends him on a seemingly irrevocable path of self-destruction.
* ''Literature/TheRunningMan'' - Lower-class worker trying to pay daughter's medical bills in dystopian USA enters a game show designed to test the effectiveness of the police state. They hunt him, he evades them. If caught, he ''will'' be killed. Halfway through, [[spoiler:he discovers that the game is rigged]]. Ends with wife vilified and murdered and daughter dead, but it's okay, because at the very end [[spoiler:he crashes a plane into the skyscraper where the game show host is working]]. The plot of [[Film/TheRunningMan the movie adaptation]] (with Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger) does not bear very much relation to this description; it handles some of the same elements, but plays them as parts of a glitzy GameShow rather than the more straight dystopian nightmare of the book.
** These first four were originally released individually, and then reprinted in an omnibus titled ''The Bachman Books''.
* ''Literature/{{Thinner}}'' - Obese lawyer is hit with a GypsyCurse, causing him to rapidly lose weight. Adapted into a movie.
* ''Literature/TheRegulators'' - AU version of ''Desperation''. A suburban summer afternoon gets very deadly very fast. Best known for being absolutely batshit insane. One character described it best as "''Literature/AliceInWonderland'' but the Music/NineInchNails version."
* ''Literature/{{Blaze}}'' - A mentally deficient conman kidnaps a millionaire's child. Marketed as a "posthumous" work of Bachman; actually a rewritten and edited version of a lost King manuscript that predates even ''Carrie''.

In addition, King has also produced several non-fiction works of note:
* ''Danse Macabre'' - [[invoked]] An examination of horror and science fiction based on King's personal experience, including his personal NightmareFuel and a rant about horror movies not influencing people to commit real world horrors.
* ''Faithful'' - A collaboration of lighter mood than his fiction that follows the 2004 Boston Red Sox to their first World Series win in eight decades.
* ''On Writing'' - An autobiography and a how-to for up-and-coming authors.

King has also written the screenplays for several TV miniseries:
* ''Golden Years'': An elderly janitor at a top-secret research base gets caught in an accidental explosion and begins [[MerlinSickness reverse-aging]].
* ''Series/RoseRed'': Haunted house tale where the manse in question [[MalevolentArchitecture literally has a life of its own]]...[[{{Bizarrchitecture}} and won't stop growing]].
* ''StormOfTheCentury'': An evil wizard arrives on a small Maine island during the titular storm; if the townsfolk give him what he wants, he'll go away...
* ''Series/KingdomHospital'': Eerie goings-on at a Maine hospital. An Americanization of Lars von Trier's ''Series/{{Riget}}'', combining supernatural horror with MedicalDrama and a touch of BlackComedy.
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[[hardline]]

King also wrote the screenplays for the 1985 film ''Film/CatsEye'' and the 1992 film ''Film/{{Sleepwalkers}}'', collaborated with George Romero on the 1982 theatrical anthology film ''Film/{{Creepshow}}'' (as well as its sequel ''Film/{{Creepshow 2}}'' and the sequel-in-all-but-name ''Film/TalesFromTheDarksideTheMovie''), and went behind the camera to direct the 1986 film ''Film/MaximumOverdrive'', adapted from his ''Night Shift'' story "Literature/{{Trucks}}", in which people are menaced by trucks and other vehicles that are [[AttackOfTheKillerWhatever brought to murderous life]] by radiation from a comet. Ironically, the story was later adapted again, rather more faithfully, under the original title.

He is also part of a rotation of featured columnists in ''Entertainment Weekly'' magazine.

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!!This author's work includes examples of:

* ActionSurvivor
* AfterTheEnd: Most notably ''Literature/TheStand''[[note]]set after a "superflu" kills the vast majority of the human population[[/note]] and ''Franchise/TheDarkTower''[[note]]Roland's world is gradually coming apart at the seams[[/note]].
* AdultFear: The loss or abuse of children is a recurring theme.
* TheAlcoholic: Several characters, most notably Jack Torrance in ''Literature/TheShining'', Jim Gardener in ''Literature/TheTommyknockers'', and Danny Torrance in ''Literature/DoctorSleep''. King himself used to be an alcoholic.
** Several pages of Gardener's introduction feature a ''disturbing'' description of what alcoholism feels like from the drunk's perspective. The urge to drink is also explored heavily in ''Doctor Sleep''
* AmericanAccents: Being a Down-Easter himself, King has a knack for accurately depicting the various dialects of the northeastern corner of the country -- mostly Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and (especially) Maine.
* AnonymousKillerNarrator: in ''The Dead Zone''
* AnyoneCanDie
* ArcWords: In practically every novel he has ever written.
** ''Literature/SalemsLot'': The poem 'The Emperor of Ice-Cream' by Wallace Stevens.
** ''Literature/TheShining'': ''Unmask! Unmask!''
*** ''REDRUM.''
*** ''Come down here and take your medicine!''
** ''Literature/PetSematary'': ''[[Main/TheRamones Hey ho, let's go]].''
*** ''Oz the gweat and tewwible.''
*** ''The soil of a man's heart is stonier, Louis.''
*** ''Sometimes, dead is better.''
** ''{{Literature/IT}}'': ''They float. They all float.''
*** ''He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.''
** ''{{Literature/Misery}}'': ''Now I must rinse.''
*** ''That bird came from Africa.''
** ''Literature/DoloresClaiborne'': ''Sometimes, being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto.''
** ''Literature/ElevenTwentyTwoSixtyThree'': ''JIMLA!''
*** ''Life turns on a dime.''
*** ''The past harmonizes.''; ''The past is obdurate.''
* AttackOfTheKillerWhatever
* AuthorAppeal:
** This shows up in several ways; as King himself has said, "write what you know." A ''lot'' of his stories are set in Maine. Many of his main characters are writers. Many have struggled or are struggling with addictions and/or marital problems.
** His love of music is also an incredibly pervasive element. If someone quotes a song, it's either very good, or very, very bad...
** Baseball is also a recurring theme, whether directly or indirectly. At the least, virtually ever Stephen King novel ever written mentions a character wearing a hat or t-shirt representing the local baseball team--even if it's a minor league team.
** A somewhat bizarre case seems to show up not in his writing, but in the commentaries he does on the DVD versions of his mini-series. He always: 1) praises the mini-series format, and 2) bashes War and Remembrance for (according to him) single-handedly destroying the mini-series format.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Hart Gary Hart]] is mentioned in a number of his works: becoming President in the short story "The Jaunt" and in an alternate universe in ''Literature/TheDarkTower'', and [[Literature/{{Misery}} Paul Sheldon]]'s car has a Hart for President bumper sticker.
** King is a proud owner of a Welsh Corgi, a particularly adorable breed of dog. The dog itself actually shows up in TheDarkTower series. More amusingly, a fictional corgi nearly saves the day in UnderTheDome, though a human screws up the corgi's gift.
* AuthorAvatar: [[spoiler:King writes himself in as an important character in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' books, where in a parallel universe, the action of him writing the books affects the outcome of the main characters' lives.]] Also, there's the tendency of his main characters being writers (See below) and their ability to be described as "like Stephen King, but..."
* AuthorExistenceFailure: Narrowly averted in 1999, when King was struck by a van while walking along a road. His personal brush with death was later incorporated into several of his works, including his ''Dark Tower'' series, which he hastened to complete so he wouldn't leave it unfinished if this trope came down for real.
** Oddly enough, he ended up long outliving the guy who hit him.
* AuthorPhobia: King is known for writing about things that scare him personally.
* {{Autocannibalism}}: "Survivor Type" centers around a surgeon and drug runner who becomes shipwrecked, and is ultimately forced to do this.
* BenchBreaker: "The Gingerbread Girl", from the collection ''Just After Sunset'', features a version of this. The protagonist is duct taped to a chair by a psycho who will return in a little while to kill her. She's unable to get free of the tape, so she ends up breaking the chair instead to free herself. This later comes in handy when the psycho returns, as she's able to use the splintered remains of the chair to fight him off.
* BiggerBad: With the CanonWelding mentioned below: [[spoiler: the Crimson King]] becomes this.
* BilledAboveTheTitle: You will never have any doubt whether Stephen King is the author of a book or not, because you can't miss the words "'''STEPHEN KING'''" taking up almost the entire front cover. With a little tiny spot at the very bottom for the actual title of the book. Ironically, many non-horror films adapted from his work, including "Stand by Me," "The Shawshank Redemption," and "Dolores Claiborne" (in other words, the best of them) have avoided using his name for the simple reason that consumers would mistake them for horror films when they were not.
* BitterAlmonds: Subverted in ''Paranoid: A Chant'' when the protagonist believes ''arsenic'' smells like bitter almonds.
* BittersweetEnding: In most of his books (though not all; see the page TheBadGuyWins for more on this), the good guys win... but always with big losses.
* BlackComedy
* BodyHorror
* BreakingAndBloodsucking: In "Film/TheNightFlier", the eponymous Night Flier pays a visit to the elderly Sarche couple. The following day, the husband shuts down the airfield and the wife visits the beauty parlor. The husband is found with his head torn off on one end of the trailer. The wife is found, her blood completely drained, in bed; with new lingerie, a peaceful expression, and a copy of ''Literature/TheVampireLestat''.
* ByTheEyesOfTheBlind
* CanonWelding: ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' starts to tie together all the other works, and possibly a few works outside of King's, towards the end.
* ChandlersLaw: Practiced in ''Literature/TheStand'' and, likely, in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower''.
* ClusterFBomb: In ''On Writing'', he cites his frequent use of foul language as an example of writing what you know.
* CosmicHorrorStory
* ContinuityNod: Many books make brief, casual, and often vague references to characters and/or events from previous King novels that may or may not have anything to do with the current novel, but that fans who have read those novels would be able to recognize.
** There's a massive example in ''Literature/ElevenTwentyTwoSixtyThree'' - the first bit of the book takes place in Derry, Maine, the setting of ''Literature/{{IT}}''. Jake goes there to stop a man from killing his family and being sent to [[TheShawshankRedemption Shawshank]]. During his time there, he meets Richie and Beverly, visits the storm drain where George was killed, and hears Pennywise calling out to him at the ruins of a local ironworks. Later on, he moves to Jodie, Texas, where he hears of a rival football team from nearby town of Arnette, where Stu lives at the beginning of ''The Stand''. The title vehicle from ''Christine'', as well as the Takuro Spirit, a car mentioned several times in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'', make appearances as well.
** [[http://laughingsquid.com/the-stephen-king-universe-a-very-detailed-flowchart-linking-his-books-characters/ Have a flowchart.]]
* CozyVoiceForCatastrophes
* CreatorCameo: King often makes cameo appearances in the film adaptations of his works; his high point probably being his portrayal of the eponymous hick in the ''Film/{{Creepshow}}'' segment "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill."
** He'll also occasionally have characters in his novels mention [[SelfDeprecation some hack author up in Bangor who writes horror books]].
* CreatorProvincialism: The majority of his stories are set in his native Maine. When he started spending part of the year in Florida, he started setting some of his stories there. Several books were set in or around Boulder, Colorado, when he lived in Colorado for a while. And all of them are set in the U.S. (except the ones set in fantasy worlds) and his entire body of work has only two notable non-American characters, the English Nick Hopewell in "Literature/TheLangoliers" and the German Kurt Dussander in "Apt Pupil" (the latter is because a Nazi concentration camp commander can't be American).
* CthulhuMythos: King is a great admirer of Creator/HPLovecraft, and as detailed below, has included both overt and subtle homages in his own work.
* DeadpanSnarker: Often in his narrations as he is one in real life.
* DealWithTheDevil
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: The title ''The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower''.
* DisappearedDad: Appears in several of his works. His own father left his family when King was two.
* DoorStopper: ''The Stand'', ''Insomnia'', ''Under the Dome'', ''The Tommyknockers'', ''IT'', ''11/22/63'' and others.
** He acknowledged this tendency of his in the author's note to one of his short story collections. "Every story wants to be a novel, and every novel wants to be approximately 3000 pages long." He once described himself as suffering from "Diarrhea of the word processor".
* EyeScream: He uses this trope frequently. He's got a special brand of it; melting eyes, included in ''Literature/TheGreenMile'' and "In the Deathroom", where horrific electrical executions are involved.
* EldritchAbomination: Several of King's villains are very much not of this reality, including:
** ''Literature/{{IT}}'', the monstrous spider-like creature from the "deadlights"
** The [[spoiler:alien children]] from ''Literature/UnderTheDome''.
** "CTHUN" from the short story "N."
** A number of his works feature references to [[Creator/HPLovecraft Lovecraftian]] {{Cosmic Horror}}s. The Lovecraftian mythos appears in the short story "Crouch End". Randall Flagg, a character from the ''Literature/TheDarkTower'' and ''Literature/TheStand'', is the human disguise of Nyarlathotep. ''Literature/NeedfulThings'' has graffiti reading "Yog-Sothoth rules" in a garage.
* AFeteWorseThanDeath
* FingerTwitchingRevival: Carrie's hand jutting out of the ground in the film. In "Autopsy Room Four," it's not the protag's ''finger'' that twitches, but same idea.
* {{Flanderization}}: The fantasy and drama elements to his novels are often downplayed in favor of his conventional horror influences. He himself has stated that he never saw himself as a horror writer.
** TropeCodifier.
* FromBadToWorse: Big time.
* TheFundamentalist: They occasionally show up, with Margaret White in ''Carrie'' being one of the most horrific examples.
** Mrs. Carmody in "Literature/TheMist" is also particularly nasty (even more so in the movie).
** Vera Smith from ''Literature/TheDeadZone'' qualifies also, although she is not nearly as malicious as the previous examples.
* GiantSpider: King is an admitted [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes arachnophobe]] so these tend to show up.
* GodBeforeDogma: Religious characters who are not TheFundamentalist tend to favor this. Interviews with King confirm this to be his own worldview.
* GoneHorriblyRight
* GroinAttack: Frequently of the non-comedic variety.
* HardOnSoftScience: In ''Literature/TheStand''
* HatePlague: Inverted in "[[Literature/NightmaresAndDreamscapes The End of the Whole Mess]]".
* HauntedTechnology
* {{Homage}}:
** The short story "Jerusalem's Lot" from ''Literature/NightShift'' is a [[Creator/HPLovecraft Lovecraft]] pastiche, written in epistolary style with sprinklings of PurpleProse, and contains a ShoutOut to that ''other'' TomeOfEldritchLore from the Cthulu Mythos, ''De Vermis Mysteriis''.
** "A man's life is five dogs long." This quote plays a peculiar homage to Creator/ErnestHemingway in the novella "UR".
* HomicideMachines
* HumanityIsInsane: He's fond of this trope.
* IJustWriteTheThing: If ''On Writing'' is any indication, he usually starts out with characters and a premise, then works out from there what the characters would do and what would happen in response to their actions, [[WritingByTheSeatOfYourPants with only a little thought of where the story will ultimately go]]. This means both that a character who's been heavily developed for 200 or so pages can get eaten on page 201 (see [[spoiler:''Literature/{{Dreamcatcher}}'', "Literature/TheMist"]]), and that a character who was intended to die can wind up surviving through application of a previously-established resourcefulness ([[spoiler:''Literature/SalemsLot'', ''Literature/{{Misery}}'']].) There have been exceptions where he tried to fit a story into a particular path, but the only one he [[CreatorBacklash still likes]] is ''Literature/TheDeadZone''.
** This really comes to light in ''Literature/TheGreenMile'', where an aged Paul Edgcomb writes the first few chapters as though Coffey ''did'' murder those girls, despite the main plot point in the last half being the fact that he's actually innocent. He wrote the novel [[SerialNovel in installments]], and admitted in the foreword of the first book that he himself may not even know how this thing ends.
* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: Strangely {{averted|Trope}}. All the most famous and successful adaptations of his films - especially the non-horror ones - avoid drawing attention to the fact that he wrote the original novel or short story.
** Syfy fixes this by making damn sure that every title is paired with his name religiously.
*** Pointedly averted with ''The Lawnmower Man'', which used his name but only the barest elements of one scene from the story. King sued and won the right to take his name from the film, even though some copies still have it labelled and presented as "Stephen King's 'The Lawnmower Man'".
* InfantImmortality: You would think children and babies are safe just like in any horror show, right? [[SubvertedTrope Oh no, absolutely not!]]
* KillTheCutie
* LimitedSpecialCollectorsUltimateEdition: Many of King's novels have been published as these by specialty presses. Some have even premiered as such; both ''Literature/TheGunslinger'' and ''Literature/TheEyesOfTheDragon'' took years after their limited edition to get published in trade format.
* LovecraftCountry: This trope may as well be called "King Country" for how many of his stories have been set in New England (especially Maine).
* MagicalNegro: King has admitted in interviews that he tends to overuse this trope, attributing it to his own WhiteGuilt.
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: He may write about spine-chilling subjects but King often comes across as a pretty friendly, laidback and witty family man. And if he likes your book, you can bet he'll give you a glowing recommendation on the cover.
* MonsterClown: Pennywise is a [[{{Pun}} shining example]].
* MostWritersAreWriters: Started with Sue Snell in ''Literature/{{Carrie}}''. Mike Noonan in ''Literature/BagOfBones'', Bill Denbrough in ''Literature/{{IT}}'', and others.
* MurderByInaction: In one book (name, anyone?) a young boy's father has a heart attack in the woods, and he tells the boy to run to the house and get his pills. But on the way to the house, the boy starts thinking about all the horrific sexual abuses his father has inflicted on him, and starts running slower and slower until he's at a leisurely walk. And what do you know, hes too late.
* MyBelovedSmother: A version appears in several of King's novels, especially ''Carrie'' and ''IT''.
* NamesTheSame Often re-uses names from other books to describe completely different people. Examples include: Patrick Hockstetter, who was a Shop scientist in ''Literature/{{Firestarter}}'' and a sociopathic schoolmate of the Loser's Club in ''Literature/{{It}}''; Martin Coslaw, who was the nice, crippled hero of ''Literature/CycleOfTheWerewolf'' (and the film based on it, ''Film/SilverBullet'') and a cruel disciplinarian in ''Literature/{{Blaze}}''; he shows up a third time in ''Literature/ElevenTwentyTwoSixtyThree'' as a high school football player and actor. Similar to a ContinuityNod (above). Also, has used names of people in his own life to help name some of the characters as a form of ShoutOut (see below).
* NextSundayAD: Many of his books are set a few months after publication.
* OldShame:
** King pulled ''Literature/{{Rage}}'' out of circulation after its potential involvement in several school shootings. He still regrets it to this day.
** He despises ''Film/MaximumOverdrive'', frequently referencing it when discussing failures.
* PenName: Richard Bachman
* PersonOfMassDestruction: The title characters of both ''Literature/{{Carrie}}'' and ''Literature/{{Firestarter}}''.
* PhoneCallFromTheDead: This is the premise of "The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates", a surprisingly upbeat short story by Stephen King, of all people. A husband who died in a plane crash was trying to call his wife just before impact; she gets the call two days later, and gets to talk to him in the afterlife (which, apparently, is a bus station). She gets to say goodbye, and he warns her about a future disaster, which she manages to avoid.
* PoliceAreUseless: Though in ''Literature/FromABuick8'', the protagonists are police officers.
** Played with in ''Literature/TheDrawingOfTheThree'', when some present-day cops ([[TheGunslinger or gunslingers, from Roland's perspective]]) are sluggish boors while others are fit and competent. He lectures the former but praises the latter.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: A frequent theme in many of his stories, such as ''Literature/{{IT}}'' and ''Literature/{{Dreamcatcher}}'', are of childhood friends who have long since gone their separate ways but must now come together to defeat the BigBad.
* ThePrecariousLedge: Short story "The Ledge" from the collection ''Literature/NightShift'' (which was adapted in the aforementioned ''Film/CatsEye') is about a mob boss who forces his wife's lover to circumnavigate a 5-inch ledge surrounding a multistory building. [[spoiler:When the man succeeds, the mob boss tries to [[ILied have him killed anyway]], but he is overpowered and forced to do the same. The lover then waits for him with a loaded gun, because [[ExactWords he never said he'd let the criminal live in case he succeeded.]]]]
* PsychicPowers: A great number of his books at the very least touch some manifestation of psychic phenomena.
* RuleOfSymbolism: He discusses his own use of it in ''On Writing''.
* SchoolBullyingIsHarmless: Averted; in fact he's a bit infamous for leaning too far the other way.
* ShoutOut: Has named some characters after real-life colleagues. Example: In the Castle Rock stories, the devious Verrill family is named after King's agent, Chuck Verrill.
* ShownTheirWork: The solar eclipse that connects the three books of the "abused wife" trilogy was a real solar eclipse that happened in 1963.
* SilverBullet: ''Cycle of the Werewolf'', ''It''
* SlapYourselfAwake: In "The Gingerbread Girl", the heroine bites down on her injured lip to keep herself from passing out when she should be trying to untie herself.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: Varies from book to book. ''Literature/TheStand'' and ''Literature/TheDeadZone'' rank on the idealistic side. ''Literature/{{Cujo}}'' and ''Literature/PetSematary'' are far, ''far'' on the cynical.
* SimultaneousArcs
* {{Squick}}: Invoked in ''Danse Macabre'' when King describes his method.
--> I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I'll go for the gross-out. I'm not proud.
* TakeThat:
** Often toward ignorant right-wingers or educated snobs. (Ignorant left-wingers are usually TooDumbToLive and never get the chance to be parodied.)
** Several books also contain more-or-less friendly jabs at Creator/DeanKoontz.
* TeensAreMonsters: Ranging from [[TheBully simple bullies]] to complete psychotics.
* TeleportersAndTransporters: King's short story "The Jaunt" combines teleportation with AndIMustScream.[[note]]To elaborate: the process is almost instantaneous in realtime but to the traveler, it takes an incredibly long time.[[/note]]
* ThemeInitials: R.F.
* TownWithADarkSecret: The titular 'Salem's Lot might be the best (worst?) offender. Other towns that repeatedly pop up are [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derry_%28Stephen_King%29 Derry]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Rock_%28Stephen_King%29 Castle Rock]], and Tarker's Mills (''Cycle of the Werewolf'', mentioned in ''Under the Dome'')
** Mejis in ''The Dark Tower''.
* TrueCompanions: Referred to as a Ka-tet in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower''. Also figures heavily into ''IT'' and ''Dreamcatcher''.
* UnconventionalFormatting: To varying, subtle degrees in several of his novels and stories.
* UndeathAlwaysEnds: This shows up in several novels, especially '''Salem's Lot'' and ''Pet Sematary''.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: Tends to happen a lot with his earlier novels. He himself has said he's sometimes "too much a writer of the moment."
* TheVerse: A good 80-90% of his stories mention or feature locations, characters, or events from his other stories, and a number of those are tied into ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' which ties them into the universes of some of his otherwise unconnected stories.
* VillainsWantMercy: In "In the Deathroom", the protagonist thinks that "in the end there might only be one way to tell the thugs from the patriots: when they saw their own death rising in your eyes like water, patriots made speeches. The thugs, on the other hand, gave you the number of their SwissBankAccount and offered to put you on-line."
* WhiteGuilt: King has admitted in interviews that his tendency to overuse the Magical Negro trope is likely due to his own WhiteGuilt.
* WeirdnessMagnet: He has referred to himself as one. Citing a time a fully dressed, gin-drinking Ronald [=McDonald=] sat next to him on an airplane during his first book tour.
* WentToTheGreatXInTheSky: In "The Library Policemen", the town's resident drunk, Dirty Dave, is said to have gone to the "great ginmill in the sky".
* AWorldHalfFull
* WouldHurtAChild: Children are frequently the targets of the villains in King's works, and not only do many meet gruesome ends, the villains often [[ForTheEvulz enjoy it]] to no end. Yes, you read that correctly.

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