[[quoteright:330:[[WesternAnimation/SouthPark http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/deadhorse.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:[-Nobody told him that {{Visual Pun}}s [[SelfDemonstratingArticle aren't funny anymore.]]-]]]

->''"For years there have been reports of the death of the Western. Now comes ''American Outlaws'', proof that even the B Western is dead. It only wants to be a bad movie, and fails."''
-->-- '''Creator/RogerEbert'''

A {{trope}} which has gone way beyond being a DiscreditedTrope to where the very act of Playing With that trope has itself become a trope.

The progression is generally:

Clever idea → {{Trope}} → DiscreditedTrope → Dead Horse Trope.

→ Then, if the downward slide continues, it may end up as a ForgottenTrope.

[[TropeNamers Named for]] "Beating[[note]]or 'Flogging'[[/note]] a Dead Horse" -- an old idiom that describes continuing in a course of action which is ''clearly'' pointless. There's no use in [[TropeNamers whipping your dead horse]] to make it move faster -- that horse is ''dead''; it's not going anywhere.

Naturally, the Dead Horse Tropes tend to be TheOldestOnesInTheBook, too.

If a Dead Horse Trope is still used straight in recent works despite seemingly being used/abused to death, it's an UndeadHorseTrope. If it was never really played straight in the first place (but everyone assumes it was), it's a DeadUnicornTrope. If it's so natural to the medium of storytelling that it can still be played straight no matter how often it's used and abused, it's an {{Omnipresent Trope|s}}. If the trope not only makes viewers/readers groan but also makes them angry, you've probably got a PetPeeveTrope.

A common cause of SeinfeldIsUnfunny, because it's hard to imagine yourself back into the innocent frame of mind when this was ''new''. A related trope is DeaderThanDisco, where something that was very popular in its day later becomes better known for the backlash against it than for its own merits.

Compare DiscreditedMeme.

Please put any examples on the trope pages, as it gets in the way of indexing.


* FourOneNineScam: Since this con is one of the OldestOnesInTheBook, most people are smart enough to know that there ''is'' no Nigerian prince on the other side of the email willing to give you a share of riches for shuffling money around. So when it's used in fiction, it's almost always parodied, most commonly by showing that the Nigerian prince ''is'' real, and dumbfounded as to why no one ever emails him back, or to show WhatAnIdiot someone is to fall for this trick.
* NinetyPercentOfYourBrain: It turns out that most people do indeed use all of their brain, just not all at once -- the same way you won't have every light in your house on if you're not in a particular room. In fact, if you ever find yourself with all your "lights" on at once, congratulations: you're having a seizure.
* AllThatGlitters: Don't expect anyone to take this {{A|nAesop}}esop seriously. More of a SpoofAesop, if it were an aesop. Famous straight uses include ''Literature/TheMerchantOfVenice'' or ''Literature/DonQuixote'', both of which were {{Trope Codifier}}s. ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' inverts it: "All that is gold does not glitter."
* AlliterativeTitle: In Flanders at least, this sort of title is considered to be a staple in ''ComicStrip/SuskeEnWiske'' comics. Putting one unironically makes people think that you are ripping them off. Still crops up in parodies of the comic (such as in the short comic ''Kinky en Cosy'' with ''De Gegaste Gasten'').
* AsianSpeekeeEngrish has been one for decades due to ValuesDissonance over racism. There ''are'' Asians who have broken English, very much TruthInTelevision, but it's not treated as comedy anymore unless the author ''[[CrossesTheLineTwice wants]]'' [[CrossesTheLineTwice to come off as offensive]] (or has the Asian equivalent of NWordPrivileges).
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: After comedians started mocking its use, and general racism decreased. It still occasionally happens but it's not expected to anymore, to the point that most examples are coincidences in modern works (or intentional parodies)... ''most''.
* {{Blackface}}: Rarely appears in modern mainstream media played straight. If it shows up at all, it's generally for BlackComedy (NoPunIntended), satirical purposes, or DeliberateValuesDissonance. It still does occasionally show up in Japanese culture, but even that can be prone to controversy and creates [[ValuesDissonance serious headaches for exporters]]. Averted in Flanders, where slavery never caught on due to plenty of historical reasons (most prominently the fact that it was colonized for much of its history).
* BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord: This trope is only played for laughs now.
* BondGunBarrel: Parodied so many times that it became a [[StockParodies stock parody]]. It's still played straight by the ''Film/JamesBond'' franchise, either on movies or video games, because [[GrandfatherClause people have come to expect it and]] [[WatchItForTheMeme would complain if it weren't included]]. If you see it elsewhere, it's probably a parody.
* Anything with BritishRoyalGuards in London, or [[WesternAnimation/DudleyDoRight Royal Canadian Mounties]] -- ''except'' in {{Police Procedural}}s, where they are depicted more realistically.
* BulletTime: ''Franchise/TheMatrix'' [[FollowTheLeader inspired so many imitations and parodies in the early-to-mid 2000s]] that audiences got sick of it. Nowadays, it's seen as nothing more than a gimmick. It's still played straight fairly often in video games, though, often as a power-up or AntiFrustrationFeature.
* CountingSheep: [[ScienceMarchesOn Unfortunately, proven by science to be ineffective in real life]] and the Serta commercials have been parodying this for years, as have other shows.
* UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks: While many series have continued to get DarkerAndEdgier, the specific stylings of 90's comics, such as pouches, random metal ornamentation, and bizarre headpieces have all been parodied well after they went out of style.
* Due to their usage as far back as silent movies and early theatrical cartoons, some of the more common {{Deathtrap}} conventions are dead horse tropes. ChainedToARailway and the ConveyorBeltODoom are prime examples. The DastardlyWhiplash mustache-twirling villain also present in such things is almost never used seriously these days.
* The excuse "{{A dog ate my homework}}!" is so prevalent in media that even students know better than to pull this when they don't finish their homework. Nowadays, this is [[EvolvingTrope replaced]] by the more plausible "My printer stopped working!"[[note]]Even then, the "printer" phrase itself is turning into a dead horse, given that email and online assignments are becoming increasingly prevalent. "My internet went down" has become another form of this.[[/note]] The logical extension of this trope, [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs "The dog ate my printer!"]], has yet to catch on.
* DastardlyWhiplash: The original form of this stock villain character appeared in stage melodramas through the 1910s to the 1930s, after which it was parodied in silent film; the character has been appearing only as a parody of itself for so long that the parody is now the trope and its origins are close to being [[ForgottenTrope forgotten altogether]]. For the record, even in silent film, the only work that contains a character similar to Dastardly Whiplash at all is the serial ''Film/ThePerilsOfPauline'', and in it the character [[UnbuiltTrope is quite different from any later parodies]]. As ''WesternAnimation/MightyMouse'' had several Pauline-like episodes with such a villain (a mustachioed cat named Oil Can Harry), and ''WesternAnimation/DudleyDoRight'' was a parody of ''Pauline'' in many ways, this led to the misconception that such a character was very common throughout all silent films.
* DonutMessWithACop: Many actual donut shops would now face fines or other undesirable consequences if they gave free donuts and coffee to law enforcement officials. On the other hand, this just means the cops just buy the donuts and coffee and still hang out there, so it manages to remain true even though it's a dead horse (cops are fully aware of the trope and treat it with a laugh, because who ''doesn't'' like donuts?)
* DunceCap: The only time this really saw much use was in the early 20th century. Anyone trying it in real life nowadays would be setting themselves up for all kinds of trouble. Plus, what with an increased focus against bullying in TheNewTens, singling out a student and calling him stupid in this manner, even in fiction, would never fly.
* EekAMouse: Rarely used; frequently parodied.
* ExplodingCalendar: Pretty much ''everyone'' has done a gag at some point or another, making the joke a trope of its own.
** Also applies word-for-word to the SpinningPaper. %% Needs to remain on this line for the ExtraExtra line to make sense.
* Speaking of newspapers, there's the paperboy calling out "{{Extra Extra|ReadAllAboutIt}}!"
* FaceOnAMilkCarton: Thanks to, in the U.S. at least, the Amber Alert system which allows missing children's names to be broadcast on television or on expressway signs within minutes. You might still see it on Iceland-brand milk bottles, but otherwise this is almost never seen anymore in real life, and hardly ever done seriously in fiction these days. However, they still exist, in the form of dozens of posters (with age progression) at the entrances to Wal-Mart stores and some grocery store chains.
* FauxInterracialRelationship died out due to better attitudes on interracial marriages.
* FlashbackStares: Characters who stop to stare wistfully into the mid-distance are more likely to be interrupted by another character asking what they're looking at.
* FloatingAdviceReminder: Except for ''Series/CoronationStreet'' but that hasn't yet happened.
* ForeignWrestlingHeel: Due to audiences not generally finding the fact that a wrestler is a foreigner to be enough of a reason to view them as a villain, most audiences find this type of character very difficult to take seriously when played completely straight. Modern depictions of this character type will either be a parody, or at least be a villain that happens to be foreign, as opposed to a villain ''because'' they're foreign and just hate America. Another reason for this trope's decline is becaus, for the most part, the modern wrestling world tends to focus on what a wrestler can do, with things like where they come from and what they look like as only a footnote. {{Wrestling/WWE}} is about the only major company in the world that still plays this trope completely straight, even in the 2010's, and even their use of it comes with a dose of GrandfatherClause.
* GloveSlap: Just slapping them is far more common now.
* GoodAngelBadAngel: Straight examples are rare in these days. PlayingWithATrope is more common: two devils, two angels, convincing devil and dimwit angel, the devil and the angel ''agree'', etc.
* GreatWhiteHunter: A combination of accusations of racism and of an increase in animal rights. If one such hunter does show up, he'll either be laughably behind-the-times or genuinely evil. Sympathetic versions who are safari guides, game wardens, wildlife conservationists or [[Series/CrocodileHunter Steve Irwin]] clones may show up, but they aren't hunters in the traditional sense.
* GreedyJew: Due to the UnfortunateImplications of this stereotype, it is only seem nowadays for satire or DeliberateValuesDissonance. The LighterAndSofter version AllJewsAreCheapskates is seen occasionally.
* HelpingGrannyCrossTheStreet: The only examples you'll see in modern media involves the old lady never wanting to cross in the first place, or crankily belting the hero with their cane or handbag. Occasionally the straight version still shows up in commercials and music videos with a "good deeds, pass them on" theme. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2Hs868FxGY&feature=player_detailpage#t=91 There are some real life examples here.]]
* Hippies are seldom played straight outside of 60s/early 70s period pieces, having been mostly replaced by {{New Age Retro Hippie}}s and {{Granola Girl}}s.
* HypnoRay: Along with hypnotism in general, unless its ability to be effective is heavily justified in-universe.
* IRememberItLikeItWasYesterday as a segue into a FlashBack. More often than not, "it" ''was'' yesterday or maybe even "earlier today."
* IdeaBulb: Nowadays usually has the lightbulb somehow breaking or turning off if they have a bad idea or forget, or using candles or other sources of light for characters predating the lightbulb, or possibly even taking the lightbulb out and using it in their idea.
* InstantCultured: Several prominent smart folks have come out in modern times without engaging in so-called "smart people" activities.
* ItsAWonderfulPlot: The original plot is nowadays more commonly parodied (by the world in fact being better off if the protagonist was never born) than played straight.
* ItsQuietTooQuiet: If a character does actually think it's too quiet, they're not going to say it. If this trope does get used, it'll usually be followed immediately by something that's not actually a threat making a loud noise.
* JailBake: If you're planning to [[GreatEscape break out of jail]], you'll have to find a more creative method if you need a file smuggled in; modern prisons have metal detectors and anything visitors bring will be searched.
* {{Kawaiiko}}: Now that we're in the age of salarymen, [[NightmareFuel Japanese sex dolls]] (as mentioned by Justin Lee Collins) and Japanese supermodels like Leah Dizon, this trope is ''very'' much now no longer able to be played straight. British magazine ''Take A Break'' treated it as TheNewRockAndRoll, but they were TwoDecadesBehind - the kawaii fad is [[DeaderThanDisco known for its flaws and is a joke nowadays]].
* KnightsAndKnaves: The solution to this puzzle has become so well-known thanks to PopCulturalOsmosis that it can't be played straight anymore. If it's used at all, expect the creators to throw in a third guard, or otherwise add an element to make the puzzle much harder.
* LieBackAndThinkOfEngland: If a woman endures sex rather than enjoys it, it's either a signal that [[RapeAsBackstory she's had traumatic experiences with sex]] or that her partner [[TheLoinsSleepTonight is inadequate.]] Or she's {{asexual|ity}}.
* LightsOffSomebodyDies: Parodies that have pointed out the sheer amount of FridgeLogic required to make this kind of "whodunnit" plot work means that no one's going to play it straight.
* LookBehindYou: This is mainly for the fact that a lot of problems could be avoided [[EvilOverlordList by simply stepping aside]], so that the villain could eye both {{the hero}} and whatever was behind him simultaneously.
* MayanDoomsday: The supposed "end of the world" date of December 21, 2012 is now safely in the distant past, and suffice to say, the world remains intact. It's hard to imagine any works playing this trope straight anymore with that in mind.
* MillenniumBug: The problem was noticed in plenty of time and a lot of work was put in to make sure things went smoothly (with only two reported deaths). At this point most people barely even remember it, or falsely assume that the problem was never real in the first place.
* MinstrelShows: While it would be a stretch to say that racism is completely extinct, the more overt displays of it are certainly no longer generally acceptable.
* NobodyHereButUsBirds: Fell out of favor after bad guys in 1990s environmental movies aimed at kids started falling for it. The parodies and use of this trope to indicate "look at how dumb those {{Mooks}} are" mean that it's never going to be used in any serious context.
* NonIronicClown: For some reason ([[WildMassGuessing most likely because of the cultural impact of Krusty the Klown and/or Pennywise]]), most clowns in these days tend to be [[MonsterClown scary]] or {{sad|Clown}}. Portraying a clown as a genuinely friendly cheerful jester is somewhat uncommon. Likewise, many fictional priests nowadays tend to be [[PedophilePriest child molesters]] or [[SinisterMinister otherwise villainous]], to the point where a genuine GoodShepherd is less common than it used to be. The creepy clown sightings of 2016 helped make the dead horse deader.
* PeelingPotatoes: At least when done by soldiers in the military on KP as a punishment. Mess halls nowadays have more efficient ways to do it.
* PlanetaryRomance: The classic version (set in the Solar System, specifically Mars) has been [[ScienceMarchesOn killed by science]], and is impossible to do except in a deliberate GenreThrowback that either ignores or [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] the science. The genre as a whole is sliding into obscurity as well, due to changes in the SciFiGhetto. [[note]]From TheFifties to TheEighties, publishers considered fantasy to be significantly lower than sci-fi on the hierarchy, and at some points fantasy was almost impossible to get published. Hence, a trend developed to write HighFantasy as science fiction and just set it on another planet, often replacing magic with PsychicPowers.[[/note]] Nowadays, if you want to write fantasy, you just write fantasy (thank you, Creator/JRRTolkien) and so most Planetary Romance novels are either part of LongRunners that aren't going anywhere, or are (again) deliberate [[GenreThrowback Genre Throwbacks]] to the classics.
* PrinceCharming: Time was, every fairytale had a character whose main function was to be a) physically attractive and b) a socially advantageous marriage prospect for {{the hero}}/heroine, by virtue of being wealthy and/or a member of the aristocracy. Information about this character's actual ''personality'' tended to be sketchy at best, [[TropesAreTools except period dramas]]. Remained popular through the early 1990s in the Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon. Nowadays princes are just as often [[UpperClassTwit clueless]] [[TheNarcissist and vain]], if not [[BitchInSheepsClothing downright evil]]. See PrinceCharmless, which is the current form nowadays. See what we meant by the spoof becoming a trope?
* RacistGrandma: Aside from {{Innocent Bigot}}s not being acceptable anymore, there is some (inconclusive) evidence that people become more prejudiced as they grow older[[note]]According to some studies, most boomers disapprove of interracial marriage, this being ''the'' generation that fought for civil rights.[[/note]]
* {{Retirony}}: It's far more common to see this outright {{discussed|Trope}}, or otherwise [[PlayingWithATrope played with]] than played straight anymore.
* RiddleOfTheSphinx: Like the case of KnightsAndKnaves, the answer to this one [[PopCultureOsmosis has become too well known]], and is only parodied these days.
* RosesAreRedVioletsAreBlue: Parodied more often than played straight.
* SaveThePrincess: Had its days as an acceptable ExcusePlot in VideoGames, but those days are pretty much over. [[GrandfatherClause Unless you're]] [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]], and even then, the newer games in the series [[LampshadeHanging Lampshade]] this plenty.
* ScaryFlashlightFace: Parodies of this kind of lighting are so common that this has been listed as both a horror trope and a comedy trope.
* ScoobyDoobyDoors: Not even its [[WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo trope namer]] uses this seriously anymore. And even when it ''was'' used, it usually subverted or played with this every time.
* ScoobyDooHoax: After being abused by the original ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo'' and other Creator/HannaBarbera cartoons, this is ''never'' played straight anywhere now. The more recent incarnations of the cartoon make a point out of subverting, playing with, mocking, or outright deconstructing this trope.
* ShowdownAtHighNoon: No longer played straight, [[GrandfatherClause except in Western films or novels]], but even then done as a tip of the hat to tradition.
* SleepingSingle: An EnforcedTrope by film censors implementing the Hays Code in the [=1930s=]. It was considered kind of silly even at the time, and a couple sharing a bed wasn't even outright banned in the Code's heyday. Sitcoms from the [=1960's=] (and actually before[[note]]''Mary Kay and Johnny'' featured the leads sleeping in the same bed in 1947[[/note]]) started ignoring the Code (even considering that TV had a stricter code than film), and this trope died along with it.
* SlowNo: This trope is parodied now, and virtually never used straight these days.
* SmokingHotSex: Two factors work against this one. Smoking in general has become [[NoSmoking less acceptable]] in media (as well as simply not being all that cool anymore), while overuse in the 70s/80s has made it hard to even parody the trope without seeming cliche.
* SpeakNowOrForeverHoldYourPeace: It isn't commonly used in RealLife, despite what stereotypes suggest.
* StandardFiftiesFather: TheFifties ended. The BumblingDad, originally a pretty clear way of rebelling against this trope, eventually become so prevalent in modern media that showing a sensible, competent father (in a sitcom, anyway) is now the rarity. The presence of well-meaning, intelligent (but still quirky) father figures saw a revival in the 1980s, but it has also become a remnant of that period, not to mention some [[FunnyAneurysmMoment tragedy in retrospective]] in most cases.
* {{Stern Nun}}s beating students at Catholic school. At least in the United States, nuns stopped doing this a long time ago (and also a good many Catholic schoolteachers are lay people), and yet Hollywood and TV shows constantly act like it's still standard procedure, as sitcom parents often threaten their rebellious teen with a transfer to a school run by nuns, implying that they will be beaten.
* SubvertedSuspicionAesop - This type of Suspicion Aesop is NEVER played straight- there's a reason that {{Subverted|Trope}} is in the page title. Sometimes a DoubleSubversion is put on it, but it's never played straight.
* SuperheroesWearCapes: This was pretty common during TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks, but fell out of favor over time. Few superheroes are unironically given capes anymore; those who do have them usually hearken back to a time to when capes were more popular.
* SuperSentaiStance: Almost universally made fun of in these days. Except of course [[{{Toku}} within]] [[Franchise/SuperSentai such]] [[Franchise/PowerRangers series]], and even then it'll be {{lampshade|Hanging}}d.
* TakeMeToYourLeader: Despite the fact that there is some TruthInTelevision in the sense that an explorer in a distant land, upon meeting some of the locals, might wish to speak with whoever's in charge around here, the form of this where visiting extraterrestrials request this is almost never played straight anymore. This is usually replaced in most fiction (mainly movies) with WeComeInPeaceShootToKill- the alien captain will simply vaporize everyone in the room the moment someone says "hello," or he and his unit are mindless StarfishAliens with no concept of diplomacy, or the local GeneralRipper will ignore protocol and blast a hole in the alien's chest long before any leader is summoned. When this line ''is'' used, it's generally combined with an "IAlwaysWantedToSayThat"-type line.
* TheTalk: Considering the proliferation of the Internet and other knowledge resources, this scene usually cannot be taken seriously by writers or audiences, unless it's in a period drama or coming-of-age story set before the Information Age, or if it's regarding a family with sheltered children. And even then, the "talk" itself might be either vague or incomplete on the parent's part, or the parent might be so jittery about giving the talk that they avoid it altogether. %% No wikiwords on this line, as it would break indexing.
* TallDarkAndHandsome: More like an {{Undead|HorseTrope}}, {{cyclic trope}} that alternates with KnightInShiningArmor. Because of both of these tropes in combination with TheHero and AntiHero, a story can keep the audience in suspense about where exactly it will land on the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism. On the most literal level, however, this trope is still alive and well. After all, Americans and northern Europeans ''are'' on the average taller than other peoples; black and brown are still the most common hair colors; and HollywoodHomely has yet to become a widespread, non-ironic look for protagonists.
* TechnicianVersusPerformer: Or at least a specific variant of it in ProfessionalWrestling: "Divas" vs. "women wrestlers." Ever since women's wrestling switched from average-looking women in singlets wrestling a piss-break match to gorgeous, yet unathletic women providing {{fanservice}}, bookers would often place the "Divas" (the "performers" who were almost always the {{Face}}) in feuds against the actual female wrestlers (the "technicians" who were almost always the {{Heel}}) in an attempt to show fans that the "diva" wasn't just a MsFanservice and that just because someone can wrestle doesn't mean that they are entertaining to watch. This feuding extended to the fandom as well, as the rise of the SmartMark made more fans side with the women wrestlers and shame the "diva" types as being {{Faux Action Girl}}s who were only using wrestling as a stepping-stone to other forms of entertainment, which things like the Wrestling/WWEDivaSearch only seemed to confirm. It also didn't help that WWE fired most of their actual wrestlers in favor of the eye-candy model types who could barely even take a bump much less have a three minute match. The mocking in the fandom got so out of hand that by TheNewTens WWE began phasing out the "model" types for actual trained female wrestlers and retired the term "diva" altogether in 2016. The few "Divas" that remain today have either [[TookALevelInBadass Taken A Level In Badass]] to become competent wrestlers ([[Wrestling/BellaTwins Nikki Bella]]) or are used solely as {{jobber}}s (Wrestling/AliciaFox, Wrestling/SummerRae) or managers (Wrestling/{{Maryse}}, Wrestling/MariaKanellis). Wrestling/EvaMarie was the last remaining straight example in WWE, and her inability to do anything physical convincingly eventually resulted in her becoming a [[ParodySue parody]] of this archetype until she was removed from television following a Wellness Policy suspension, and chose to sit out the rest of her contract.
* ThereAreNoRules: There's almost certainly [[RuleNumberOne at least one rule]] nowadays.
* TorchesAndPitchforks: Never mind that most people wouldn't own any torches or pitchforks anyway, this type of mob is only ever used in parodies or as a gag. Any work that plays mob mentality straight typically involves throwing stones and bottles, smashing windows, and lots of shouting.
* {{Trope 2000}}: Could no longer be played straight in its original form after January 1, 2001. However, the trope is still being played straight, albeit with larger numbers (3000, 4000, etc.) in place of the original 2000.
* {{Utopia}} is mostly deconstructed in these days.
* VampireVords: Strongly associated with "old", Creator/BelaLugosi-style vampires. Neither the modern "sexy" vampires or the few genuinely threatening ones in modern fiction talk this way, because it's silly. Bela himself didn't talk that way; initially memorizing his English lines phonetically, he tended to pronounce "w" as "wh".
* VenusIsWet: Common when the only thing known about UsefulNotes/{{Venus}} was the permanent cloud cover over its entire surface, stomped flat when unmanned space probes reveal that the clouds are sulfuric acid, the atmosphere is largely carbon dioxide, and due to the resulting greenhouse effect the temperature at the planet's dry and barren surface is around 480°C (900°F). Now only appears as part of a GenreThrowback. The few modern stories that still use this trope generally invoke {{terraform}}ing as an explanation.
* WireDilemma: [[TheWarOnTerror 9/11]], UsefulNotes/TheTroubles and 30 years of terrorists hiding grenades inside dead cows and cars instead of metal boxes marked "BOMB" have stomped this one flat. If it's used at all it will be some subversion, such as all the wires being the same color, or the person with the wire cutters getting fed up and throwing the bomb out the window.
* WorkingOnTheChainGang: The punishment was once very commonplace in [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPrisons Southern US states]] up until the mid-1950s, with Georgia being the last to abolish it in '55. Today only a single county in Arizona remains as the one place that still makes use of chain gangs, although inmates serving on these ones aren't shackled together anymore. Nowadays, chain gangs mostly just exist in period pieces in media that involve prisoners in the early half of the 20th Century. Replaced with "community service" nowadays; usually a crew of guys filling potholes on the highway or picking up litter in the park, but these activities aren't gritty or sexy enough for Hollywood so they rarely show up in media. Prisoners nowadays are more likely to be employed in indoor factories, making anything from license plates to combat gear for the Army.
* YouAlwaysHearTheBullet: The page mostly hosts aversions of the trope, since it's just not used any more.