{{Trope}}s can become [[DiscreditedTrope discredited]] in a number of ways. Usually this involves overuse or changes in social values. But sometimes it doesn't even take that.

When a trope which may have been perfectly ordinary on its own is used ''so'' famously by one particular show, its meaning gets changed. Instead of what the trope had meant before, it now means "{{Homage}} or parody of the show which used it famously." (Or, if you're less lucky, "Blatant rip-off of the show which used it famously.") Think of it as a kind of RealLife {{Flanderization}} of a trope.

This can get annoying for writers, since the trope may be a useful screen-metaphor in its own right, but they can't use it without creating unwanted associations.

See also FountainOfExpies for character-specific examples, as well as WholePlotReference. Compare TropeCodifier and TropeNamer, which both identify a show for becoming well known for a trope, but not necessarily laying such claims on future use of it. Contrast UrExample, which is when a show uses what will eventually become a trope, but wasn't actually one at the time. See also FollowTheLeader for intentional trope invocation based off of that one particular show.


* The EarthAllAlong reveal is cliche for many reasons, but it's also so characteristic of ''Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes'' that you can't "unexpectedly" reveal a planet to be Earth without the audience flashing back to Charlton Heston.
* There are particular styles of TechnoBabble that are distinctly ''Franchise/StarTrek''.
* The KarmicTwistEnding was used so famously by ''Series/{{The Twilight Zone|1959}}'' that viewers can't help but think of it whenever they see one elsewhere.
* On that note: modern fantasy is so inextricably connected to Creator/JRRTolkien that--to quote fantasy author Creator/TerryPratchett--"even if [the author/writer] has said 'Bugger me, I'm not going to write like Tolkien'", audiences usually associated some part of it with his writings.
* ''Series/FamilyMatters'': Though there are earlier famous examples, a character as flamboyantly nerdish as Steve Urkel, an ExtravertedNerd character often sparked comparisons to ''Family Matters'', for some time after the show.
* ItsAWonderfulPlot -- The trope is indistinguishable from [[Film/ItsAWonderfulLife the movie]].
* Any time you pitch a show as JustForFun/XMeetsY, you're going to be compared to both X ''and'' Y.
* ''Franchise/StarWars''
** LaserBlade weapons.
** Any scene where a villain reveals that [[LukeIAmYourFather he is the hero's father]].
* WholeEpisodeFlashback, ''Series/{{Lost}}'', as a result of expressing usually intriguing flashbacks of various points of various characters' backgrounds in just about every consecutive episode.
* For American and Canadian audiences, TransformingMecha will nearly always take the audience's mind to ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}''.
* Any use of a [[SingleBiomePlanet desert planet]] is going to bring ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' to mind. Or at least [[Franchise/StarWars Tatooine]].
* People getting powers as a genetic trait? ''Franchise/XMen''. Also, AllOfTheOtherReindeer applied to said empowered individuals.
* WizardingSchool = ''Literature/HarryPotter''
* If there's a PlatformGame where the GoombaStomp is the primary method of dispensing with enemies, it will inevitably have links to ''SuperMarioBros'', whether intentional or assumed. It's become even stronger nowadays, as ''SuperMarioBros'' is one of the few platformers to use this mechanic anymore.
* In more recent days, any video game where the default (or only) difficulty is HarderThanHard will invariably draw comparisons to ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'', to the point where it's become cliche to refer to something as "X meets Dark Souls" when a franchise entry spikes in difficulty.
* Jekyll and Mr. Hyde referencing - any time two extremely different characters, usually one good and one evil, turn out to be the same person.
* Any work that has a SuperMode - specifically a GoldenSuperMode [[PowerCrystal powered by a finite number of artifacts]] - will undoubtedly be compared to ''Franchise/DragonBall''. ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' is no stranger to this.
* Almost all ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' [[DarkFic Dark Fics]] are in some way connected to ''[[{{Fanfic/Cupcakes}} Cupcakes]]'', be it through the use of the same tropes ([[RunningGag a favorite]] being [[VasquezAlwaysDies Rainbow Dash as the victim]]) or even through the use of a ShoutOut or TakeThat.
* In a darker example, many tropes associated with UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler or [[ThoseWackyNazis the Nazis]] have become this due to the two's infamy, even if such tropes dated before them and originally had benign connotations. For example, the swastika was originally [[NonNaziSwastika a symbol of good luck]] (and was created independently in several cultures) before it became specifically associated with the Nazi party, whereas the Bellamy salute was discontinued in the United States to avoid replicating the similar Nazi salute.
* In the UK, any show using the BBCQuarry will be compared to ''Series/DoctorWho'', even though the series hardly uses it any more. [[TheNthDoctor Actor replacement]] will also be referred to as 'regeneration'.
* Literature/TheBible is one of the most influential works in Western civilization, making [[BiblicalMotifs every notable trope it uses]] characteristic to it. [[UpToEleven This even happens to]] [[HijackedByJesus mythologies, religions, and works that have been developed independently from it]].

For that matter, most of the {{trope}}s in this catalogue which are actually [[TropeNamer named for a particular show]] are probably so characteristic of those shows that it's dangerous to use them if you can't handle the association.

See also OlderThanTheyThink.