->'''Socrates:''' Ya know, Calvin, [[ImYourWorstNightmare that line]] has been used so many times now, it's not even ''mildly'' threatening anymore.
->'''Andy:''' [[{{Narm}} Yeah, it actually just took all the drama out.]] It's like having FiveFiveFive for a phone number.
-->-- ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'', [[Recap/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeriesS3TVM2Thunderstorm "Thunderstorm"]]

TropesAreTools, but some have aged better than others.

Over the course of time, a trope may be overused, misused, opposed, [[TropeBreaker made obsolete]], {{subverted|Trope}} on many notable occasions, or just end up being [[PetPeeveTrope widely disliked]]. Eventually, a trope may reach the point where it becomes one which nobody should dare use ''seriously'' and only belongs in parody, satire, homage or pastiche. Often, if one of these is used straight, [[TheUntwist people will assume]] it's a RedHerring.

In some cases, a trope may be discredited due to changes in our knowledge of history or science. Use of the trope in fiction may change to reflect this. See the TimeMarchesOn index.

# Just because a trope is discredited does not necessarily mean it is not TruthInTelevision, or that it's necessarily a ForgottenTrope.
# This is not bad writing because the writing itself is bad, but because the writer doesn't know its audience. After all, [[TropesAreTools Tropes Are Not Bad]].
# Just because a trope is not TruthInTelevision does not mean it is discredited.

OmnipresentTropes are immune to being discredited, mostly because those tropes are too natural to the medium of storytelling to ever be considered tired cliches. UndeadHorseTrope describes tropes that have been subverted and parodied dozens of times, but aren't ''quite'' discredited.

See also:
* DeadHorseTrope, where subversions or parodies outnumber straight use in recent works.
* ForgottenTrope, which describes tropes that aren't used in recent works at all; they may have been considered Discredited Tropes years ago, or just fell from use for other reasons.

Compare DiscreditedMeme.

!!Examples and Tropes:


* AllJustADream: Too often abused as a DeusExMachina / {{Stock Epileptic Tree|s}}.
* AllGaysArePedophiles: ''NO ONE'' with any credibility believes this anymore. It also has [[UnfortunateImplications homophobic undertones]].
* AllWomenArePrudes: Since sexual attitudes have become more relaxed, nobody plays this straight.
* AwfulWeddedLife: Back in the day, there was much more stigma against getting divorced, and couples were expected to [[ThereAreNoTherapists resolve their problems themselves or simply pretend marital problems didn't exist.]] These days, however, at least in the Western world, divorce has lost much of its stigma, divorce laws are more liberal (making it relatively easier for couples to ''get'' a divorce) and it's much more commonplace than it once was, so far fewer people these days are trapped in a loveless and unhappy marriage.
* BarbaricBully: Heightened school security in the post-Columbine era means that beating a kid up in a crowded school hallway usually comes with consequences. Not to mention that the advent of cyberbullying and the recent rash of bully-related suicides proves that a good deal of bullying is psychological rather than physical (and that psychological bullying can be just as harmful as physical bullying). Not discredited in British works due to ValuesDissonance.
* TheBermudaTriangle: No matter what anyone wants to say about RealLife ships and planes that have disappeared in the region, aliens, Cthulhu, dimensional portals, Atlantis, etc. are '''NOT''' behind any of it. The incidence of RealLife disappearances in the area is no higher or lower than any other part of the ocean that has similar size, weather, and maritime traffic.
* BedsheetGhost: A hopelessly outdated cliche of a ghost appearance that is very difficult to play straight now.
* BlackHelicopter: [[AttackDrone Drones]] have made them obsolete and are more believable.
* BritishRoyalGuards: Never used for anything other than comedic effect, but nowadays the once common gags involving a guard's effort to remain still under immense pressure have been replaced with ones where [[SubvertedTrope voluntary movement]] on the guard's part is observed, side-stepping more commonplace expectations.
* TheCallsAreComingFromInsideTheHouse: Based on a myth about analog land lines (see the trope page), plus it's not that scary or unusual anymore with the [[TechMarchesOn omnipresence of cell phones]].
* CareerVersusFamily: Similar to the below trope, working moms are quite common, especially as the cost of raising children to adulthood increases.
* CareerVersusMan: It is entirely possible to have both; these days, a woman is not expected to give up her career when she gets married.
* CatchYourDeathOfCold (still alive and well in Japanese and possibly other East Asian media, though)
* CementShoes: It's much more efficient (from both a filming and story perspective) to have the crooks just shoot the guy or bash his head in and go on their way. The victim being suddenly shot also has more shock value.
* ChocolateFrostedSugarBombs: Modern children's cereals are made with much more of an eye towards nutrition, thanks to backlash regarding marketing junk food to kids.
* TheChosenOne: Has largely fallen out of favor [[SeenItAMillionTimes due to how overused and cliche it is.]]
* ChristmasCake: Along with its Western variant, the OldMaid, it's not quite [[ForgottenTrope gone from consciousness]], but it is on its way out, thanks to changing attitudes about the role of women in society, and increased education for girls.
* CoincidentalBroadcast
* CutAndPasteNote: In modern fiction, due to the prevalence of more convenient and harder to trace forms of anonymous communication. If used in any sort of forensic drama, you can bet the {{CSI}}s will admonish the culprit as an amateur and get damning evidence off the note.
* CutPhoneLines: Largely discredited in any story set after the widespread adoption of cell/mobile phones.
* DastardlyWhiplash: A [[CardCarryingVillain cardboard stereotype]], [[ObviouslyEvil clear-cut villain]] used in vaudeville and stage melodramas [[note]] but, [[DeadUnicornTrope contrary to popular belief]], ''not'' in silent film, where the only significant use was in ''The Perils of Pauline'', and even that example [[UnbuiltTrope is quite different from later parodies.]][[/note]] that got [[SeenItAMillionTimes so ridiculously overused]], that it became impossible to take seriously, and thus became extremely ripe for parody in cartoons. As such, this trope has almost never been played straight since, and when it does occasionally pop up, it's used as fodder for a quick villain gag or for sheer camp value (i.e. Dick Dastardly from WackyRaces, Snidely Whiplash from DudleyDoRight, Oil Can Harry from MightyMouse)--in fact, the reason people even remember this trope is often ''because'' [[DeadHorseTrope of how often the cliche has been parodied.]]
* DeadPetSketch
* DeclarativeFinger: Often used by the authors to imply that the character doing so is just trying to come across as profound, which in turn is used to imply that the character is actually saying something NON-profound.
* DivorceRequiresDeath: In Western society, at least, it doesn't.
* DoesThisMakeMeLookFat:
** You see this every day, so it's not really a plot device.
** There's also the common variant of the trope, "Does this make my butt look big?". Because of evolving beauty standards in the 21st century, the implication that a woman has a big butt is a lot less likely to be considered an insult than it once was.
* DramaticSlip
* DrunkenMontage: Except when it's PlayedForLaughs.
* DyingDream: Too often abused as a DeusExMachina, except also common as an overused DownerEnding.
* [[ValleyGirl Essex Girl]]: We are in the age of ''TheOnlyWayIsEssex'' but the trope itself is pretty much discredited nowadays. The [[FunWithAcronyms WIGWAG]](''Wig''an ''Wa''lkden Girl, alternately ''Wig''an ''Wa''rrington Girl) [a much more upper-class version, as Wigan and Walkden are fairly affluent neighborhoods] - [[SocietyMarchesOn the older trope is now gone]]; it only survives in ''TheOnlyWayIsEssex'' due to the legacy of the GrandfatherClause. The trope itself in general isn't obsolete, but the Essex version is. Audience reactions on this are mixed, to say the least.
* FlashbackStares: Outside of comedies this is rarely used purely because it looks so silly, breaking any dramatic tension.
* FlushingToiletScreamingShower: Becoming one because [[TechnologyMarchesOn newer buildings are designed with this trope in mind]] so it's harder to pull off.
* FollowThatCar
* GirlsHaveCooties: Unless you are aiming at a VERY young audience, using this trope will make you a laughingstock.
* HenpeckedHusband: As Many DomesticAbuse cases start to have more gender neutrality be added to them, this type of relationship is seen as either unrealistic or [[UnfortunateImplications horrifying]]. Many sitcoms still use them, however, as do animé, manga and similar.
* HystericalWoman: Not only a DoubleStandard; a tired cliché.
* IBrokeANail: Turns out breaking a nail actually ''is'' really painful and sometimes bloody.
* InnocentInnuendo: These days, audience reactions tend not to be "whoa, are they doing it?", but "okay, what's ''really'' going on?"
* IsThereADoctorInTheHouse
* ItsQuietTooQuiet
* KawaiiKo: Now that we're in the age of salarymen, 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]].
* {{Leprechaun}}: Only in Ireland itself though, not in America or elsewhere.
* [[DrowningMySorrows Leave the bottle!]]: You won't find this in any modern bar or tavern. It's against modern ABC laws.
* LittleGreenMen: TheGrays have made them obsolete.
* MadonnaWhoreComplex: At least in individualist modern Western society, where marriage is no longer seen as a prerequisite for sex, women are more sexually-liberated, and people aren't ''quite'' as concerned about "what the neighbors might think," it's becoming discredited. [[JustifiedTrope Still alive and well in historical fiction, though.]]
* ManInABikini: It is still [[PlayingWithATrope played straight]], but is no longer [[PlayedForLaughs used as a source of comedy nowadays]]. Well, ''except'' for TeenIdol shows like ''Series/HannahMontana'' and ''Series/{{iCarly}}''. Main usage is for {{Very Special Episode}}s or to promote AnAesop on tolerating crossdressers.
* MarsAndVenusGenderContrast: Not played straight except in some romantic comedies, and even then it's considered by most to be a tired cliche.
* MayanDoomsday: December 21, 2012 is in the past now, and suffice to say, the world and civilization in general remain intact. It's hard to imagine any new works taking this trope seriously with that in mind.
* MenCantKeepHouse: Outdated and untrue these days, with the advent of stay-at-home dads.
* TheNativesAreRestless: This isn't the age of colonialism anymore. It still pops up in fantasy and science fiction settings where colonialism can exist, but even then, it's more likely to be used for humour.
* NotAllowedToGrowUp: Still largely used and accepted in animation, comics and video games, but discredited in live action media.
* OfficerOHara: There are still Irish-American cops in entertainment, but they tend to be [[ShownTheirWork less stereotypical]]. The whimsy and the just-off-the-boat accent tend to only be used straight in HistoricalFiction these days.
* PhoneTraceRace: Still used on occasion by very [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19160_8-scenes-that-prove-hollywood-doesnt-get-technology.html dense Hollywood hacks,]] but with caller ID, the popularity of shows like 24 which have mostly ditched this trope, and a general paranoia about Google and Facebook tracking your every move, writers nowadays tend to err on the side of the FBI/NSA/CIA being ''too'' good at tracking your every move.
* PoorMansPorn: TheInternetIsForPorn, so you don't need to settle for the Victoria's Secret catalog anymore.
* QuicksandSucks: Except in video games.
* SantaClaus Tropes: Santa has become such a commercial icon of Christmas and as such overexposed via countless Christmas specials and merchandise, that it is pretty much impossible to play any trope related to him straight now, unless you have a really young audience in mind or have no self-respect for yourself as a storyteller.
* TheSavageIndian: Still pops up sometimes but has mostly been replaced by the NobleSavage and the MagicalNativeAmerican.
* TheScream: Almost universally PlayedForLaughs nowadays.
* SexEqualsLove
* ShotgunWedding: A combination of greater availability of contraception and a reduced stigma of single motherhood make this trope seem very dated today. If a woman does get pregnant, a couple doesn't have to get married, but the father is expected to provide some form of support.
* ShrinkRay: Due to ScienceMarchesOn, this is now limited to more-or-less humorous works.
* SmallAnnoyingCreature: Rarely shows up anymore except as parody.
* SmokingIsCool[=/=]SmokingIsGlamorous: [[ValuesDissonance Changing attitudes]] towards smoking have deemed these tropes in bad taste, if not [[DoNotDoThisCoolThing outright dangerous]] [[ThinkOfTheChildren for the impressionable]]. Modern examples that play these straight are met with fierce criticism.
* StandardHeroReward
* StandingInTheHall: Parodied in some Japanese works still; but not used in RealLife as much. In western countries, similar variants aren't used due to kids taking it as an opportunity to wander around the halls.
* SternNun: For one thing, many teachers at modern Catholic schools are laypeople, not nuns. For another thing, after the advent of the Self-Esteem Movement of TheSeventies, parents would be all up in arms if a teacher (whether a nun or a layperson) meted out those kinds of punishments. (Nuns also haven't worn those starchy white wimples since the 1970s at the latest, but you'll still occasionally see them, usually for humor.)
* StrangerDanger: Aesops about the inherent dangers of talking to strangers were huge in the 1990s, but due to changing attitudes (coupled with the discovery that the majority of abuse comes from people that ''the victims know personally'') it's rarely played straight.
* SomeOfMyBestFriendsAreX
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodSandwich
* TrojanGauntlet: In most places, changing sexual mores and TechMarchesOn (condoms are no longer behind the counter, self service checkouts) have rendered this trope a thing of the past.
* WhatAreRecords: Most kids are not as clueless about old technology as we think they are. It also helps that records have undergone a recent resurgence in popularity.
* WildSamoan: Obvious UnfortunateImplications and SocietyMarchesOn make this discredited now. (This doesn't apply to ProfessionalWrestling, the performance art that time forgot.)
* Old magic tricks like the DisappearingBox and SawAWomanInHalf are best not done in their straight form these days, as everyone's [[SeenItAMillionTimes seen them dozens of times]] and probably knows how those tricks are done.
* In modern chase scenes the FruitCart, SheetOfGlass, and BabyCarriage are only included with at least a wink -- for serious chases [[RedShirt something else that will go splat]] is used.
* TheGenerationGap has pretty much become this, with Generations X and Y becoming parents and today's children growing up in an unusually similar cultural landscape to the one their parents grew up in. Fortunately, recent shows like ''Series/ModernFamily'' and ''TwoAndAHalfMen'' have realized this, and thus, the trope has been gradually phased out of television and movies during the past decade-and-a-half or so. Today, it's relegated mostly to parody, although even ''that'' is becoming [[DeadHorseTrope old hat]].
* HighSchoolRocks is rarely played straight anymore. Now that shows like ''Series/FreaksAndGeeks'' and ''Series/MySoCalledLife'', not to mention movies like ''Film/{{Superbad}}'' and (to a lesser extent) ''Film/DazedAndConfused'', have subverted it into oblivion, it's almost impossible to take this trope seriously anymore. ''WaterlooRoad'' is the show that made it become this way.
* GiveGeeksAChance: The mainstreaming of nerd culture has rendered it [[NerdsAreSexy more or less obsolete]], as there's no longer anything especially remarkable about a self-proclaimed "nerd" having a fulfilling love life.
* The VirginInAWhiteDress. Nowadays, Western women are free to have sex lives before marriage (although it may be frowned upon in some circles), and free to choose what color dress they wear. It's entirely possible (heck, even ''likely'') that a modern bride wearing a white dress might not be a virgin or might only be a TechnicalVirgin. And second, third, fourth, etc.-time brides are still allowed to wear white if they choose to.

* AlliterativeName: A trope popularized by StanLee so that he could remember all these characters he co-created. It's been taken to the point of parody.
* NinetiesAntiHero: Except in VideoGames, a medium where it seems to work better than comic books.
* SuperheroesWearCapes: Time was when every other superhero had a cape. These days, capes are considered to be impractical, and even dangerous (see the fate of Dollar Bill in ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' or Edna Mode's speech about cape-related mishaps in ''TheIncredibles''). You'll still see capes on plenty of DC heroes such as the Superman family and the Bat family, but mostly because of the GrandfatherClause. Aside from Doctor Strange and the supervillains Magneto and Dr. Doom, Marvel has very few characters who wear capes.[[/folder]]

* AwardBaitSong: Has been slowly vanishing since its peak in TheNineties. Revised rules in the AcademyAwards have also ensured that [[TropeBreaker they're no longer award bait]].
* {{Disaster Movie}}s involving airplanes - since ''{{Airplane}}'' came out, no-one could possibly take one seriously. [[{{United93}} Unless it was based on a true story]]. One contemporary airplane disaster movie tried to play itself straight for the first part of its production process - then someone realized there were [[Film/SnakesOnAPlane snakes on the plane.]]
* InAWorld: The film trailer blurb immortalized by the late Creator/DonLaFontaine is heading in this direction.
* OpeningScroll: Today, the general stance is that you should just ShowDontTell. May occasionally pop up as an homage to one of the [[Franchise/StarWars most famous examples]].
* RevengeOfTheSequel: An overused stock sequel title, especially for horror movies.
* RedAndWhiteComedyPoster: Very common in the TurnOfTheMillennium, but rarely seen in TheNewTens, due to an association with movies that are utter crap.

* SaidBookism: In these days, it's often considered redundant.
* ProlongedPrologue: Often seen in fantasy novels. They give a lot of backstory on a world that the reader hasn't read enough of to care about yet. Most publishers say ShowDontTell and let the reader learn about the world through the eyes of the characters.

[[folder:Live Action Television]]
* OpeningNarration: During the TitleSequence, this usually gave the premise of the series. Today, writers prefer to ShowDontTell. However, it's ''still played straight'' '''only''' in HospitalDrama or PoliceProcedural series, and ''rarely'' in sci-fi, but other than that, it's rarely used. (Except in some comedies: HowIMetYourMother, MalcolmInTheMiddle, Scrubs...)
** On the other hand, PreviouslyOn still hasn't disappeared, even though it has been made less necessary by such new technologies as [=DVDs=], [=YouTube=], and TiVo (it is still useful when the previous action took place maybe ten or twenty episodes ago).

* TruckDriversGearChange: It's become such a cliche, especially during the second half of the twentieth century, that it's now almost impossible to play it completely straight anymore.
* The idea of SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll seems to have more-or-less fallen by the wayside. This is probably due mostly to the vast number of drug-related deaths and rehab stints among various rock musicians in the 60's, 70's and 80's (JimiHendrix, [[MotleyCrue Nikki Sixx]], OzzyOsbourne, etc.). However, other factors include the extensive anti-drug campaigning of the 80's, the AIDS scare mostly rendering the concept of "Free Love" obsolete, and the Grunge movement of the early-90's shifting the focus of rock away from glorified sex and drug use. Granted, sex and drugs still exist in the music business. But most of the musicians who engage in such activities are far more secretive and openly ambivalent towards them than before.

[[folder:New Media]]
* DigitalPiracyIsEvil: Despite [[UndeadHorseTrope still lingering today]], companies have ultimately realized that the war against piracy is a [[HopelessWar lost cause]], and have taken incentive to work around it instead. More recently they have been pushing a new bill (s.978, Protect IP, SOPA) to put an end to piracy forever, although all attempts so far have failed. Although in the United Kingdom, the Digital Economy Bill may keep this as ''not quite'' a discredited trope, as it seems that public opinion is against the bill, despite politicians' attempts at copyright law changes. ValuesDissonance, indeed.
* [[ScreamerPrank Screamers]] have received two major blows over the Internet's history. Initially, when flash movies and games were still the norm, there were no clear distinctions between screamers and legitimate pages, creating a minefield for fearful site goers; this meant less traffic for sites like [=FunnyJunk=] and [=WinterWorld=]. Later, with [[Website/YouTube the advent of video over flash files]], viewers were able to scroll to the end of the video to see if any suspicions were confirmed, removing all suspense and [[TropeBreaker defeating the purpose of screamers]]. [[EvolvingTrope They have since been replaced by]] [[BaitAndSwitch the trap video]], which puts the scare at the ''beginning'' of the video, and aims not to make individuals jump, but [[{{Troll}} to cause outrage within specific audiences]]. Furthermore, they've also been overshadowed by {{Rickroll}}s as the Internet's prank of choice.
* ThereAreNoGirlsOnTheInternet: The online population has reflected real-world gender distributions since 2001 or so.

* ThatRemindsMeOfASong: Modern musicals, at least in theatre, are specifically ''not'' supposed to play this one straight anymore, though there's still a chance a song of this nature may end up as a BreakawayPopHit

[[folder:Video Games]]
* MascotWithAttitude: Started with poorly made [[FollowTheLeader copycats]] of ''SonicTheHedgehog'', the TropeCodifier, and solidified by Sonic's gradual decline. As of recently, Sonic is the only prominent example of this trope, obviously due to him [[GrandfatherClause being the template for it in the first place.]]
* MonsterCloset: In first-person shooters. Present in shooters in mid 1990s to early 2000s but mainly replaced by offscreen or onscreen spawning.
* OneBulletAtATime: Subjective; was originally a technical limitation, but can still be enforced for gameplay reasons (e.g. prevent some forms of SpamAttack).

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* IdeaBulb: An overused visual cliche that's more often [[DeadHorseTrope known for its parodies than straight examples.]]
* IWantSong: This became discredited for a while after Disney and its competitors milked the Broadway musical cartoon formula for all it was worth -- the makers of ''Toy Story'' even intentionally avoided this, in order to distinguish it from those films. That said, there's enough nostalgia left for it now to allow it to return in recent films like ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'', but it's nowhere near as prevalent as it was in the past.
* {{Rotoscoping}}: Derided as a lazy, poor substitute for actual animation by both animators and critics (thanks in part to [[UncannyValley another trope it inevitably invokes]]), it is almost never used in modern hand-drawn animation, let alone without irony. It's more modern equivalent, MotionCapture, is still used in CGI, but often to equal derision.