These are the {{trope}}s that are one step beyond {{Dead Horse Trope}}s and {{Discredited Trope}}s; not only are they not used straight, they're not used at all. You won't find this in ''any'' current series; they have disappeared from the writer's toolbox.

Note that Forgotten Tropes aren't actually ''forgotten'', FutureImperfect-style, [[FridgeLogic otherwise would we even be talking about them here?]] Academics will know all about them, and a few minutes with a web search engine will turn up plenty, if you know what to look for. They may, on very, ''very'' rare occasions, show up in a modern series, but generally those are only emulating a series that did have these. The best place to find Forgotten Tropes is in "classic" works; there you will see them, frozen like insects in amber. They're also often used by artists relying a great deal on the NostalgiaFilter: WaltDisney, for example, probably did more than anyone else to keep a number of otherwise DeaderThanDisco tropes alive.

Often, these tropes were a [[TimeMarchesOn sign of the times]], and as the times moved on so did the tropes, [[EvolvingTrope morphing to fit the current standard]]. Many [[EvolvingTrope tropes evolved this way]], and while their ancestors went extinct, the fossils remain.

Forgotten tropes are almost always some of TheOldestOnesInTheBook, except that they've fallen out of the book entirely. When a trope is forgotten but its parody isn't, it's WeirdAlEffect.

When a particular change in technology or culture makes tropes obsolete overnight, it's a TropeBreaker.

Examples are sorted by the time period they were most popular or most common. If a trope has a lot of examples, please feel free to use YKTTW to make it its own page!

----
!Forgotten Tropes with their own pages

[[index]]
* AllWomenAreLustful
* BrainFever
* TheCaptivityNarrative
* CheatingWithTheMilkman
* CollegeWidow
* DivorceInReno
* DunceCap
* FoodPills
* FullMotionVideo
* LoverAndBeloved
* NarrativePoem
* NauticalFolklore
* RatchetScrolling
* RestorationComedy
* StandardFiftiesFather
* TelegraphGagStop
* {{Tontine}}
* TypewriterEating
* TheWickedStage
* WizardNeedsFoodBadly
* UnableToSupportAWife
[[/index]]


!!Forgotten Tropes without pages

[[foldercontrol]]


[[folder: Older Than Feudalism]]

* '''"All new jokes!"''': In AncientGreece, while having just invented theater, it didn't take long to get to where the average audience member recognized ComedyTropes as Tropes. How comedic writers dealt with this became a trope in and of itself. As the FourthWall wasn't strong, a character would address the audience, say that TropesAreNotGood, and say how ''this'' play was special because of all the {{Undead Horse Trope}}s it ''wasn't'' using, which was always a lie. The lie was either [[NoPurpleDragons indirect]] (listing various tropes it wasn't using, but using other equally hackneyed old tropes) or [[WhoWritesThisCrap absolutely bald-faced]]. Of course, since writing plays was much more competitive, this must have seemed like sports players boasting. But it also implies a truly odd appreciation for tropes and how they get used. Wow! Just think of it: PostModernism is actually OlderThanFeudalism!

* '''Law of unities:''' Aristotle was also responsible for the laws of unities, which held that a play should be set in one location, concern one action, and take place in one 24-hour period. These laws were taken seriously for much longer than playwrights honoured them; Creator/SamuelJohnson was forced to defend Shakespeare 150 years after the Bard's death over his disregard of the unities. Another nail in the coffin of this trope was writers realizing that these laws were not so much laws as an attempt at description of the plays Aristotle knew about. It was only made law by neoclassisists who made Aristotle's work SeriousBusiness. The decline of reliance on ancient classics meant the end of this trope. Of course, very short, single-setting plays are still being written and performed; it's just that playwrights now do this because it suits the nature of an individual work, not out of some sense of tradition or obligation.
** Mozart's ''Don Giovanni'' is an especially late example, as English-language playwrights had discarded the idea of the unities a century earlier.

* '''The original Greek Muses:''' The nine Greek Muses represented art forms that are almost all discarded now (though the Muses live on, they've been reincarnated as patrons of different arts). Clio (Muse of History) and Terpsichore (Muse of Dance) are the only two Muses you can expect a reasonably large number of people to remember, and then only because their names live on in the somewhat obscure words "cliometrics" and "terpsichorean."

* '''The Anglo-Saxon riddle poem''': A game in which a vague poetic description of an item was given and listeners were expected to recall a rote answer, is almost entirely dead today.
** The only popularly-remembered example, "Humpty Dumpty," is no longer perceived as a riddle about an egg, just as a poem about an egg. (This is in part due to TheWeirdAlEffect of Humpty's inclusion in the ''Alice'' books.)
** Used almost directly by Creator/JRRTolkien in Literature/TheHobbit, specifically the riddle-contest between Bilbo and Gollum. Tolkien was aware of the trope because he was an expert on Anglo-Saxon literature, to the point of having done original translations from Anglo-Saxon into modern English.

[[/folder]]


[[folder:Medieval]]

* '''All Jews are Sephardic:''' In Medieval Europe and all the way through the Renaissance, the stereotypical Jewish person that would pop up in your average peasant's mind was one of Sephardic origin, since for a while, Spain was the place with the highest Jewish population in the world. People like Maimonides and Baruch Spinoza were well-known among religious or academic circles and thanks to the expulsion of Jews from Spain, the Sephardic stereotype spread to places like England and the Netherlands. In the 19th century, with declining Sephardic populations, dispersion and the rise of Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe (that changed the balance of power among them), this trope was replaced by AllJewsAreAshkenazi. However, as the Western world becomes a lot more multicultural thanks to liberalized immigration laws, Hispanic and Middle Eastern Jews are once again beginning to make their presence known in large cities, which means that this trope may well be making a comeback.

* '''The Red Jews:''' A legendary nation in German folklore that would one day invade the Christian world. It probably saw its major splendor with the Turk attacks that would lead to the fall of Constantinople, when it was popular to identify the Ottomans with the Red Jews stories (absurd, since the Ottomans were mostly Islamic). While unfortunately antisemitism still exists today, the idea of a Great Jewish nation (which nowadays would by default be Israel) invading the West is all but forgotten. Probably the modern equivalent would be other prejudiced tropes like "Jews Control the Media/Economy", but even in those cases, the way they use their power is passive, not violent.

* '''The Nine Worthies:''' Nine characters who personified the ideal values of a brave knight. They were three pagans (Alexander The Great, Hector and Julius Caesar), three Jewish (Joshua, Solomon and Judah Maccabee) and three Christians (King Arthur, Charlomagne and Godfrey of Bouillion), thus uniting the three Western religions (polytheism, Judaism and Christianity) with which most Christians at the time were familiar. It was a very popular motif that there was a sort of spin-off (to call it in modern terms) with nine lady worthies. All of those figures are still very well-know, but most people are not familiar with the idea of all of them united in a single rhetorical concept.

* '''Medieval fantasy creatures''': A lot of medieval creatures are still famous, but the way they're represented and the motifs and traits they're associated with have evolved with time: most modern representations of the unicorn are related to its class, elegance and/or "royalness" and they're seen as delicate animals, but in the first representations they were, if anything, just the opposite: wild, untameable and fiery. Other derived tropes (like the idea that they could only be captured by virgins) are even more forgotten. Vampires and werewolves are seen nowadays as two different species but in the original stories they were seen as two variation of the same kind of creature. Also, the "bloodsucking vampire" stereotype is NewerThanTheyThink, at least in western Europe. [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Medieval English tales about "vampires" often described creatures that we would recognize more as zombies today - and very tame zombies, at that.]] They didn't suck blood, and they usually didn't even hurt anyone; they were just undead people who liked to cause mischief, coming off more as grotesque fairies. The bloodsucker-type comes from Eastern Europe, and was not well-known in the West until the 19th century.

* '''Prester John:''' A Christian King from a far-away eastern land who somehow kept the faith of his country and would appear to save the West from Islamic/Heathen invaders. It was very common to reference him in stories, folktales and maps. There were different theories about the localization of the Prester John Kingdom, including China, India or Ethiopia, but with the advancement of the age of exploration, more of the world was discovered and the idea of this hypothetical nation faded from most people's minds. It is still remembered by scholars and it still comes out in some modern works of fiction here and there, but even those works are relatively obscure. Stories about mythical countries or lands still exist today (some of them, like Atlantis, are even older), but Prester John as well as the notion of a hidden or forgotten country similar to the West or Christendom in the middle of "barbarian" or "uncivilized" peoples have not only vanished from most mainstream fiction, but would be a point of controversy due to ValuesDissonance.
** A modern reference in Reginald Bretnor's 1974 Papa Schimmelhorn tale "Count Von Schimmelhorn and the Time-Pony".

* '''Termagant:''' The name of an imaginary god worshipped by Muslims, according to different tales of the Christian West. Of course, as time passed, while clashes between the West and the Muslim world remained sources of controversy, Termagant, as a figure of speech used to describe an evil trickster deity, was forgotten. The term is still used nowadays to describe a violent woman, but even in that context it's dark and obscure, even more the original meaning of the word.

* '''The land of Cockaigne:''' A legendary land of plenty and abundance that was very popular at the time, being a figure of speech used in poems, paintings and other forms of art, and used as a trope about mythical lands almost as much as in modern fiction we use Atlantis. Sexual liberty, wine, food available without hard labor. The catch? The only way to reach it is going through a river of feaces so long, it would take five years to cross it.
** A modern reference to it is in ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soul Calibur V]]'' as [[WordSaladTitle the name]] of [[JokeCharacter Dampierre]]'s [[LimitBreak Critical Edge]], "Cockaigne, the Land of Plenty"; a powerful counterattack that involves sliding between the opponent's legs and launching them into the air with a [[AssShove Kancho]].

[[/folder]]


[[folder: Older Than Steam]]

* '''Ruler-flattering prologue:''' The grand operas of the ''ancien régime'' period had pompous prologues in which the ruler sponsoring the production was compared to the hero of the story.

* '''Exit after aria:''' The deeply, deeply annoying exit convention, which required the performer to exit the scene after finishing an aria, caused all sorts of logistical problems, and after the Baroque period was seldom used.

* '''Obesity as a sign of great wealth''': This is not entirely dead (with tropes such as the FatSweatySouthernerInAWhiteSuit) but it is certainly a dying trope, replaced by obesity as a sign of working class subsistence on junk food and beer, the price of fresh food, lack of time for home cooking, etc. Meanwhile, physical fitness of the "sweaty gym" variety has been a pursuit of wealthy Westerners at least since the 1970s, and in some cases probably earlier.
** In Nigeria in the 1970s, obesity was still a sign of great wealth. Polynesia also had positive connotations to fatness.

[[/folder]]


[[folder: 19th Century]]

* '''Massive formal opera chorus:''' One convention found in many grand operas of the mid-19th century was the massive formal setpiece chorus in the middle of the middle act (i.e. the second act, or the third if more acts were to come)
** The Triumphal March ("Gloria all'Egitto, ad Iside") from ''Aďda''.

* '''Secret Scottish weddings''': In British literature up through the mid-1800s, a frequent plot device involved a secret marriage happening in Gretna Green or other Scottish border towns. This was because an English law dating to 1754 allowed the parents of people under 21 to stop them from marrying; Scottish law had no similar provision, and, further, allowed almost anyone to perform a marriage as long as two witnesses were present. Moreover, the wedding announcement could be held back from English newspapers. Gretna Green is still a popular venue for destination weddings, and turns up in that capacity in modern works, but its use in novels like ''Literature/TheWomanInWhite'' to reveal a secret wedding in a character's past is now mostly forgotten even in period pieces.

* '''Columbia''': Colombia was a poetic 19th century name for the United States of America (it is the "C" in "Washington D.C."). Columbia herself was represented as a young woman (or goddess) and was a popular national personification into the early 20th century. Since then she has been displaced by another American personification -- "Uncle Sam". [[note]]Apparently she was always meant as a composite figure, but her incarnations may include, among others, Claudia Dell, Amelia Batchler, Jane Bartholomew, and today's version, Jenny Joseph.[[/note]]
** The patriotic song "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean" had a similar period of popularity.
** "Columbia" was also used as a synonym for the continent(s) of America, hence the names of the South American nation of Colombia and the Canadian Province of British Columbia (and the latter is even on the opposite coast from the one where Christopher Columbus operated). And ''Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean'' is still performed.
** Many older American memorials and monuments still depict Columbia, the most notable and newest of which is the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, dedicated in 1949 in Hawaii.
*** The statue atop the US Capitol dome, while not officially of Columbia, shares many of her characteristics.
** Creator/{{CBS}} used to stand for the Columbia Broadcasting System. Even ''they've'' abandoned this trope.
** In Alex Ross's graphic novel ''Uncle Sam'', there's a sequence where Sam meets up with Columbia to discuss the good old days.
** About the only place you will see poor old Columbia these days is at the opening of a "Columbia Pictures" flick: she is the woman holding the torch.
** Also, 'Columbia' has popped up again in ''VideoGame/{{BioShock Infinite}}'', interestingly.
** Columbia, Marianne, John Bull, Britannia, and Uncle Sam are all gods in the World War II setting in ''TabletopGame/{{Scion}}''.
** Uncle Sam himself replaced the almost entirely forgotten Brother Jonathan as national personification of the USA. (Jonathan was the brother of Britain's national personification John Bull, the satirical joke was that they did not get on although they looked almost identical).
*** Brother Jonathan is referred to in the ''{{Flashman}}'' novel ''Flashman and the Mountain of Light''.

* '''Irish national personifications''': ''All'' of the traditional personifications of Ireland (Róisín Dubh, Kathleen Ni Houlihan, the Shan Van Voght, the Maid of Erin) are forgotten, mainly because they're seen as incredibly dated.

* '''Big boy pants''': It used to be a rite of passage for a child to start wearing long pants and skirts. Younger children -- both boys and girls -- wore short pants with a dress or skirt over them, so that the material would not be worn out during playtime. Once you were old enough, you were trusted to wear long pants. The ''expression'' "big boy pants" is still around, but now it's just a vague metaphor about growing up.
** The variant about young girls wearing short skirts makes a significant appearance in ''Literature/{{Fingersmith}}''.
** This trope is far from being forgotten in manga and is used mostly for school uniforms like in ShinkuuYuusetsu.

* '''French opera ballet''': The mandatory ballet in French grand opera is a trope long forgotten.
** Composer Jules Massenet, presumably after one too many times being forced to shoehorn a ballet in, not only [[LampshadedTrope lampshades]] it in ''Manon'' by having the ''ballet girls of the Paris Opera'' brought to a party, but [[JustifiedTrope justifies it]], as he manages to tie it into several different plots -- it's an expensive attempt by Manon's rich StalkerWithACrush to win her from the man she's playing courtesan to, but just beforehand, Manon learns that des Grieux, her true love who she threw over in favour of riches, is about to become an abbot, and this leads to her ignoring the performance, as the first sign of her redemption. Unfortunately, said StalkerWithACrush begins conspiring against her after that.
** When one of Wagner's operas was being premiered in Paris, he was told that they'd have to insert a ballet; he could either write one, or they'd pay someone's brother-in-law to arrange some of the thematic material from the opera into it. He said he'd write one, and that the place where it would make the most sense plot-wise would be in the first act. The management told him it would have to be in 'the middle of the middle' because that was when they seated latecomers.

* '''Victorian children memorizing poems''': In Victorian schools, [[http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~cavitch/pdf-library/Robson_Standing.pdf rote memorization was thought to be good for the mind as well as instilling discipline]]. Aficionados of Victorian novels and autobiographies will be familiar with children having to "get" a number of "lines", usually of Bible verses, poetry or a Shakespeare play. Along with adult works, poems were written especially for this purpose, exemplifying virtues for children to emulate. This practice trickled down into family life, and children were expected to appear at adult parties to "say their piece", sing, play an instrument or dance. The mania surrounding ShirleyTemple kept this going through the 1930s and 40s, and merged with Beautiful Baby contests (which [[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hilary-levey/the-evolution-of-american_b_860261.html have a variety of origins]]) to become the ChildBeautyContest.
** Creator/LewisCarroll parodies this by having Alice actually base part of her identity on her ability to recite, only to have it turn into WordSalad. Children who'd been forced to recite that damn "How doth the little busy bee" poem would have loved Carroll's hysterical mangling.

* '''RagsToRiches via clean living''': In the late 19th century, the RagsToRiches trope usually involved a poor yet clever and virtuous boy who rises to affluence through hard work and clean living (and phenomenal luck, but they won't tell you that). This trope was arguably the basis of Social Darwinism, but it died sometime during the forties and no one can say why for certain. Presumably it had something to do with the immensity of the Wall Street Crash (for if people got rich by hard work and clean living, did that mean all those that lost wealth were lazy and uncouth, along with unlucky?), the influence of the World War II experience (with Hitler's Germany being a horrific case of many of the tenets of Social Darwinism put into action), the New Deal (which made people question the idea of individuals purely responsible for their success) and the nascent civil rights movement (springing from demographics of people who had been denied success for the color of their skin, not for the content of their character, even though Booker T. Washington to some degree embraced the theme).
** The British equivalent is Dinah Craik's ''John Halifax, Gentleman'' and Samuel Smiles' ''Self-Help.''
** It refuses to die as long as Creator/AynRand has disciples.
** Creator/CharlesDickens' work ranges from [[UnbuiltTrope unintentional]] [[TropeOverdosed trope overdose]] (''Literature/OliverTwist'') to low-end {{Subversion}} (''Literature/GreatExpectations'') to high-end {{Subversion}} (''Literature/HardTimes''). The last-named features a supporting character (Josiah Bounderby) who claims that his mother abandoned him soon after his birth, and that he was completely independent by the age of three. It is later revealed that his parents adored him, and scrimped and sacrificed so that he might receive a good education and a promising apprenticeship. He then rose rapidly through the ranks of society, and deserted his doting parents in their old age.
** Parodied like crazy by radio comedy ''Radio/BleakExpectations''.
** Also well remembered for being deconstructed in ''Literature/TheGreatGatsby''.
** Also deconstructed and parodied in Creator/GeorgeBernardShaw's ''Theatre/{{Pygmalion}}''.
** The young readers' novel ''Montmorency'' could be considered a parody, as it features a dirt-poor youth who ascends to the aristocracy through hard work ... by robbing Londoners and faking his way into high society.

* '''Christmas ghost stories''': Actually very common in the Victorian era. Today the only one widely remembered is a ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'' and thus most people don't realize there were many others of its ilk, but telling ghost stories around Christmas was a common tradition. A reference to it remains in the song "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" that seems fairly weird to modern listeners.

* '''Travelers' tales''': A genre of nonfiction (usually) adventure stories of far-off lands. With the advent of {{Television}} and {{Film}} they seemed rather redundant.
** Even when those were most popular in the 19th century (see Creator/JulesVerne works), EdgarAllanPoe wrote a StealthParody (''Literature/TheNarrativeOfArthurGordonPymOfNantucket'') to mock the credulous readers.

[[/folder]]


[[folder: Turn of the Century]]

* '''Breach of promise of marriage''': Courts no longer recognize lawsuits for breach of promise of marriage, the idea that a man engaged to a woman has made a legal promise to marry her.
** Creator/GilbertAndSullivan fans will recognize one as the premise of ''Theatre/TrialByJury''.
** The 1952 SettingUpdate of ''OfTheeISing'' removed the references to Diana accusing Wintergreen of breach of promise.
** In the third DreamSequence in ''LadyInTheDark'', Liza Elliott is put on trial for refusing to marry Kendall Nesbitt as she promised. The phrase "breach of promise" is not used, however, partly because, as Liza suggests, women were traditionally immune to such claims.
** Referenced in, of all places, AHardDaysNight, where Paul describes his grandfather ([[PhraseCatcher the clean old man]]) as a "villain, a real mixer, who'll cost you a fortune in breach of promise cases".


* '''Romantic operatta waltz song''': A major trope in old operettas was having a big romantic song in slow waltz time with enormous vocal range and mushy lyrics, rendered with lots of rubato. This was once as popular as the AwardBaitSong is now.
** This was already obsolete by the mid-20th century when Creator/AnnaRussell parodied it as "Ah, Lover!"

* '''Invasion literature''': A popular British sub-genre of ScienceFiction (not named as such at that point) in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. This genre focused on the invasion of Britain TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture (or earlier) by a foreign power. This foreign power was most often either France or Germany, depending on which seemed Britain's most likely enemy at the time. Its mainstream incarnation vanished during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, presumably because they had ''actual'' wars with Germany.
** ''The Battle of Dorking'' (1871) by George Tomkyns Chesney, the TropeCodifier, though not the UrExample. This was written in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war, which had shocked Europe with the speed with which Europe's second-largest army was defeated by a numerically smaller but technically more sophisticated foe. This theme ran through the genre.
** Both ''The Riddle of the Sands'' (1903) by Erskine Childers and ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' (1898) by Creator/HGWells ended up having an effect on fiction long after the extinction of the original trope serving as the progenitors of modern espionage thrillers and the AlienInvasion, respectively. The Invasion Fiction lives, but the invader has changed.
** A late example is NevilShute's ''What Happened to the Corbetts'' (1938). By that time, of course, most people had a pretty good idea that something bad was going to happen, even if they didn't know [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII quite how bad]] it would be.
** There were a few American examples of the genre, usually involving the YellowPeril; the revival of that associated trope during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII included a novel by Whitman Chambers titled ''Invasion!''.
** The "threat to Britain from France or Germany" idea did make it into at least one post-Cold War techno-thriller, Larry Bond's ''Cauldron''. The scenario involves the dissolution of NATO and a war pitting an aggressive France, allied with Germany and much of continental Western Europe, against the US, UK, and most of the former Warsaw Pact, excluding Russia. (However, the notion of England actually being ''invaded'' is never brought up.)
** A modern example of Invasion Literature most Australians will know of is ''TomorrowWhenTheWarBegan'', wherein Australia is invaded by an unnamed country.
** The genre was being parodied as early as 1909, when Creator/PGWodehouse wrote his early novel ''The Swoop'', in which England is invaded by the armies of ''nine'' different countries at once, only to be driven out by the Boy Scouts. (Oddly enough, in Creator/{{Saki}}'s ''When William Came'', written four years later, the "Boy-Scouts-as-saviours" idea is repeated, entirely seriously. The Scouts don't actually fight off the Germanic hordes, thankfully. Instead, they inspire the population to resistance by boycotting the Kaiser's parade.)
** One of the later examples is the comic book series ''Invasion!'', which ran from 1977-9. The creators had to change the Russians to "Volgans" and remove representations of Margaret Thatcher and other real life people.

* '''Stealing the help''': There's a common Edwardian comedy trope where some aristocrat will have a particularly good cook and their friends will do everything they can to "steal" that servant (because great food is such a crucial part of performing the part of a host).
** This happens in some Creator/{{Saki}} stories.
** Happens in Creator/PGWodehouse stories with the chef Anatole.
** This gets a modern use in the MilesVorkosigan novel ''Memory'' where his parents and other relatives are tempted to steal away his new cook, Ma Kosti, but that's probably because the series is often social comedy RecycledInSpace.
** Perhaps a modern variation is the competition by rich families for good nannies, as seen on ''DesperateHousewives''.
** This is played with and parodied to hilarious effect in ''Literature/ToSayNothingOfTheDog'' by Creator/ConnieWillis.
** Another modern version occurred in the ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' episode "Citizen Solomon", with Dick and Mary fighting over a maid:
-->'''Mary:''' Give me back my maid!
-->'''Dick:''' I'm sorry, Mary, but Cathy is not some product to be bought or sold on the open market. She is a living, breathing human being with feelings, thoughts, and emotions -- you don't own her. ''[beat]'' I do!
** Also on ''Series/GameOfThrones'' when Janos Slynt suggests he'll be hiring Tyrions' cook
-->'''Tyrion:''' Wars haven been started for less.
** Shows up in DowntonAbbey at one point (O'Brien is PutOnABus this way).

* '''Female hysteria''': Before modern psychiatry and medicine, hysteria was once a common diagnosis for a woman with any sort of illness. There are thousands of documented cases of women in real life diagnosed with hysteria (and often institutionalized or otherwise marginalized) who were later found to have had heart attacks, ovarian cancer, schizophrenia, depression, endocrine imbalances, or one of any number of physical or psychological diseases.[[note]]Sometimes, all it took was a woman saying "I don't want to have kids!" or "I want to own my own business!" or objecting to her husband having control of her money. These victims of "moral insanity" were frequently institutionalized. Going to a SpookySeance could also get you diagnosed, because Spiritualists were notorious for promoting feminism.[[/note]] The trope became discredited after women finally got fed up with being told that their problems were all either "in their heads" or made up for attention, and faded from fiction at about the same time.
** Hysteria, and more broadly the consistent mis-diagnosis and mis-treatment of women during the 19th and early 20th centuries, is the theme of the classic early feminist short horror story ''Literature/TheYellowWallpaper.''

* '''Ethnic white groups''': Ethnic white characters and stories, if they're not outright forgotten, are usually touched on only in historical contexts. This trope was popular among American audiences through the 19th and part of the 20th century, and it consists in the idea that some Caucasian ethnicities aren't truly "white", ergo, not truly American, and it aimed to almost every European ethnic group: Irish (the famous "Irish Need Not Apply" signs in stores and other business), the Dutch (President Van Buren was seen with suspicious by large groups of voters, who even [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything questioned if he was actually American-born]]), Germans (Especially in WWI), Italians, Polish and many more. Nowadays, the idea that some ethnic groups couldn't be classified as white seems almost alien to most modern audiences. Heck, even most White Supremacist groups ditched the old Nordicism idea (a concept that held that the superior race/truly white people were only those of Nordic or Germanic roots) and try to integrate all ethnic white groups to their movement. Xenophobia still exists today, but mostly is aimed at non-white groups like Latinos, Asians, etcetera. Consider how funny it would be if someday Hispanics came to be considered "whites" and were among the ones discriminating against a new wave of immigrants in the country. European ethnic identities persist (among Irish, Ashkenazi Jews, and Italians especially), but they don't serve to isolate or alienate such peoples anymore; now they're really just a way for ethnic whites to avoid being classed as the dreaded [[WhiteAngloSaxonProtestant "Anglo-Saxon."]]

* '''Edisonades''': A variety of late-19th and early-20th century stories called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edisonade "Edisonades"]] were usually about a young man building a robot, going west, defeating savages and carving out a name for himself. SteamPunk was created partially from a desire to fight the attitudes presented in the Edisonades (despite the genre being dead for several generations).

[[/folder]]


[[folder: 20's and 30's]]

* '''The "10-20-30" melodrama''': a long-extinct genre of theatrical productions which used many tropes now more typically associated with early silent films like ''The Perils of Pauline''. The "10-20-30" name was derived from the cheap ticket prices charged for these productions - 10 cents, 20 cents, 30 cents. Interestingly, the name itself became obsolescent during the very heyday of these melodramas ("15-25-75" would have been more accurate.)

* '''The smoking song''': a song about (tobacco) smoking either banishing worldly worries or inspiring sentimental visions. It probably originally derived from the nineteenth-century opium craze (since smoking opium often caused users to have vivid dreams), only to eventually be replaced by the more socially acceptable use of tobacco in the twentieth century. Songs about smoking certain ''other'' things are still alive and well, however.

* '''The "love nest" song''': a song describing the type and/or location of the cozy little home a couple would plan to settle down in.
** An odd modern example would be in LittleShopofHorrors, where "Somewhere That's Green" describes the type of locale that Audrey would like to live with Seymour.

* '''The extravaganza''': the American equivalent of English {{pantomime}}, the extravaganza was a family-friendly type of musical using many of the typical pantomime characters and settings (though the "dame" played by a man in drag seems not to have fully caught on). The genre survived until the Great Depression.
** In the first decade of the twentieth century, stage adaptations of ''Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz'' (which had Creator/LFrankBaum's involvement) and ''ComicStrip/LittleNemo'' followed the extravaganza format.
** The genres best-known proponent was Flo Ziegfeld and his Follies
** The only survivor of the genre is ''Theatre/BabesInToyland''.

* '''Cigarette lighter gag''': Jokes about cigarette lighters refusing to light were obnoxiously common in the days of vaudeville. Apparently a bit of TruthInTelevision. The founder of Zippo noted that one of his friends carried a IMCO lighter (which was apparently ugly and unfashionable) "Because it works". He copied and improved the mechanism when he founded his own company.

* '''Extended unimportant montages as film openings''': Many films of the 1920s and 1930s feature plot-irrelevant montages of urban life, especially multiple people's daily routines, store displays, manufacturing processes, or popular amusements, much longer than what would be needed for a standard EstablishingShot. Such sequences, leftovers from early cinema in which simply seeing such things was a novel spectacle, eventually vanished unless they were immediately relevant to the plot. They still exist in art and experimental cinema in various forms, but in commercial fiction films it has long since faded from public consciousness.

* '''The clever young widow pursuing a new husband''': Frequently TheIngenue's rival for the protagonist's affections. This character type was popular in the early 20th century, back when young ladies were supposed to be watched over by parents and chaperones before marriage: the widow had the advantages of independence, (moderate) experience and wealth, though the last of these assets often depended on gold-digging among prospective second husbands. The more dangerous FemmeFatale might be this type's eventual descendant.
** Creator/AnthonyTrollope liked this one, having Madame Max Goesler in ''Phineas Finn'' and Mrs. Hurtle in ''The Way We Live Now''.
** Mitzi May in ''Webcomic/{{Lackadaisy}}'' is a modern example in a webcomic set in the 20's. The author is very knowledgeable about the time period, so it's likely an intentional reference.

* '''Goat glands as Viagra''': In the 1920s, 'goat glands' were a quack remedy for erectile dysfunction and general lack of energy (don't ask how it was done ... {{Squick}}). The use of goat glands - with miraculous {{Popeye}}-after-Spinach type results - not only became a trope in films themselves, but a film industry term for silent films that had sound hurriedly added to them to bring them up to date. Monkey glands were also used for the same purpose.
** Goat glands are used in Creator/BusterKeaton's ''Cops''
** The song "Monkey Doodle Doo", from ''The Coconuts'' (1929), written by Irving Berlin
--> Let me take you by the hand
--> Over to the jungle band
--> If you're too old for dancing
--> Get yourself a monkey gland!

* '''{{Starving Artist}}s' loft apartments''': The image of a StarvingArtist living in a garret apartment dates from a time when the top floor of a building was the most inconvenient to access and thus rented out for the lowest price. Thanks to elevators, landlords can now rent out lofts for a hefty markup relative to the rest of the building, and Starving Artists had best starve somewhere lower down. If you smear some BigAppleSauce on this trope, though, it comes back to life with some TruthInTelevision on its side. Buildings of five floors or fewer in NYC do not have to have elevators. Guess who lives in fifth floor walk-ups in certain neighborhoods.

* '''Allegorical film sequences''': Films of the early 1920s often included allegorical sequences (or entire parallel stories) set in past eras. BibleTimes, AncientEgypt and AncientGrome were popular choices, which also provided a convenient excuse to shoehorn in a few scantily clad slave girls and Roman orgies, proving that GettingCrapPastTheRadar is OlderThanTelevision (in fact, older than the Talkies).
** This was a popular enough trope to be parodied by Creator/BusterKeaton's film ''Three Ages''.
** This gimmick is arguably still with us, in the form of "The History of..." spoofs in comic strips and TV commercials showing stereotyped scenes from past eras, often with BambooTechnology.

* '''The officer fallen on hard times''': The British army commissioned a lot of officers from outside of the traditional officer class during WorldWarOne, and after the war most of these men had to return to their former stations in life. This was a popular character type in post-war British fiction, but most of those novels are now forgotten, with one of the few exceptions being ''Literature/LadyChatterleysLover'', in which Mellors the gamekeeper is a former officer.

[[/folder]]


[[folder: 40's and 50's]]

* '''Facial muscle control''': As mentioned under ClarkKenting, facial muscle control was used by pulp magazines to handwave MasterOfDisguise abilities, because it was thought that if a male character wore make-up for a disguise, that would make him a "sissy". Perhaps because of common awareness of the use of make-up in films or the lack of believability of the facial muscle explanation, this trope hasn't been used for a while.
** Although this was used in the movie ''Film/MinorityReport'', with the aid of an electronic device to relax the muscles.

* '''Homosexuality as a disease''': In the past, homosexuality or male effeminacy was frequently described as a mental disorder (if in fact it was discussed at all). Today, attitudes have changed
** As late as the 1970s, Mike Brady (played by [[RealitySubtext gay actor]] Robert Reed) was heard to say in an episode of ''TheBradyBunch'' that if he found out that one of his sons was interested in playing with dollhouses, he'd take him to a psychiatrist.

* '''Films adapted as radio plays''': During the 1940s, films were sometimes adapted into radio plays, usually performed by the original cast of the film. The most popular of these radio programs was ''Radio/LuxRadioTheatre'', which if it couldn't get the original cast, usually got other A-listers to perform the parts. Television, being a visual medium like film, made such adaptations redundant, though they did still happen to a limited extent even into the 1980s - ''[[Radio/StarWarsRadioDramas Star Wars]]'' being a very famous example, and also one of the very last produced in this manner.

* '''Ballet sequences in musicals''': A trope from Hollywood musicals of the forties and fifties was the ballet sequence -- a segment in which the movie broke away from the main action, usually as a [[DreamBallet dream]], to tell a mini-story through stylized interpretive dance. It may have [[EvolvingTrope evolved]] into the BigLippedAlligatorMoment.
** The Big Ballet trend in musicals was started by George Balanchine and "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" from ''On Your Toes'' (and revisited in the "biographical" ''Words and Music''), which in turn might have been inspired by the BusbyBerkeleyNumber "Lullaby of Broadway" from ''Gold Diggers of 1935''.

* '''Sports comics and stage magic comics''': In between the GoldenAgeOfComicBooks and the SilverAge of Comic Books, a number of non-superhero genres were popular. While some, like crime, horror, romance, monster, and western comics are fondly remembered, still continue, or are occasionally revived, a few others have been entirely forgotten, such as the brief vogue for sports comics and the even briefer vogue for comics about stage magic (think of Moloch the evil magician from ''{{Watchmen}}'' as a contemporary ShoutOut to this subgenre). This is partly because the institution of the Comics Code Authority in 1954 following the publication of ''Seduction of the Innocent'' (see below) [[GenreKiller killed off the more violent or lurid examples of these comics for nearly a generation, and some of the genres never recovered]].

* '''Short stories in comic books''': The two-page prose short story featured in many comics from the 1930s up to the early 1960s was due to postal regulations requiring any publication taking advantage of the cheaper magazine bulk distribution rates to have at least two pages of prose or other written content. The popularity of the letters pages and StanLee's promotional "Bullpen Bulletins" pages replaced them, and eventually postal regulations changed.

* '''The superhero's BumblingSidekick''': The BumblingSidekick was very popular in Superhero comic books in the 1940's. They were often drawn in a different style from the rest of the comic, and were often racially insensitive or [[OnceAcceptableTargets hilariously fat]]. To some extent, the trend continues with the inclusion of LethalJokeCharacter examples like {{ComicBook/Deadpool}}, but even these characters generally get serious moments and do more than provide simple slapstick or TooDumbToLive moments.

* '''Civilian adventure comics''': The dominance of the superhero has all but eliminated the once popular "civilian adventurer" type, who often had an exciting profession and invariably ended up battling criminals and spies. Many early comics featured the likes of aviator Hop Harrigan, TV host Roy Raymond, and adventurer Pep Morgan starring in backup features in the increasingly superhero-dominated anthologies. While some of these characters still exist, they usually survive by either becoming superheroes (like Congo Bill becoming Congorilla) or becoming part of the supporting cast of a superhero comic (like Speed Saunders, who has been tied in with {{ComicBook/Hawkman}}). The idea of such characters headlining their own comics is long gone.

* '''Superheroes with a vehicle as their gimmick''': The hero whose sole gimmick is a unique super-vehicle of some kind -- such as Taxi Taylor, Captain X, and the 1940s Red Torpedo -- is all but forgotten, having long since been absorbed by superhero characters like Batman who have other gimmicks and talents besides a Batmobile or the like. A particular subset of these characters, the aviator hero with a special plane, exists today almost entirely in the form of the ''Blackhawk'' characters, who also have the gimmick of being a multinatiuonal team of flyers.

* '''Eccentric village characters songs''': A folk song trope that isn't used much anymore. In the fifties, there were plenty of songs about eccentric but beloved village characters such as the old lamp-lighter or the old umbrella salesman. Those songs are forgotten except by those very familiar with old songs.
** TomLehrer's song "The Old Dope Peddler" parodies this
** Maddy Prior's "All Our Trades" stands out as a late example of this trope done straight.
** Many of Tom Lehrer's songs parody styles and tropes which were old even when he was writing them (although a few had seen revivals at the time); and have now been [[WeirdAlEffect all but forgotten]] by any but aficionados of old music.

* '''Everything's greener with chlorophyll''': A minor trope in TheFifties, afterwards forgotten. The brief fad for chlorophyll as an additive centered on its supposed deodorizing and "healing" properties, not to mention giving products like toothpaste a natural green color. ''TIME Magazine'' reported a [[http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,857175,00.html chlorophyll boom]] in April 1952 which had become a [[http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,860075,00.html bust]] by October of the next year.

* '''All greasers are Italians''': A minor trope back in the 50's about the stereotype that all or most greasers were ethnically Italian. Nowadays, this subculture is still remembered, but the racial connotation seem to be lost for modern audiences. The reality-TV show ''JerseyShore'' did briefly revive this trope in a more modern context.

* '''Alum gag''': One gag used in cartoons was when someone ingested the multi-use substance [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alum alum]], their lips would tighten to a pucker, their head would shrink, or their voice would increase in pitch
** The latter two occurred in the ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short "WesternAnimation/LongHairedHare".

* '''Cuba is a hotbed of sin''': During the Batista years, the Mafia opened numerous casinos, nightclubs, and places of ill repute in the country to avoid American law enforcement, making it an extremely popular tourist destination. All of this died out with Castro's revolution - in fact, part of Castro's reason for taking over was because he was disgusted over American criminals controlling Cuba's economy.
** The idea of Cuba as a hotbed of sin is seen in ''Musical/GuysAndDolls''.

* '''The comic book anthology series''': This type of comic book featured multiple genres and art styles waned during the 1940s and 1950s and finally died by the mid-1960s both because the massive size of TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks was no longer viable and because publishers began to realize that single-genre comics were more marketable. Prior to this shift, however, the standard practice was to present short eight-to-ten-page stories, usually a few superhero features, a few pulp-inspired civilian adventurer characters, and various humor strips. When characters like ComicBook/{{Superman}} and ComicBook/{{Batman}} got self-titled comics featuring only their adventures, the comics still featured multiple short stories about those characters rather than one long story. As late as the mid-1960s, DCComics still tended to present two stories of the star character in its superhero titles, as well as one or two half-page, usually crudely-drawn gag strip features. By the BronzeAge, however, this format was was abandoned.

* '''Male HeterosexualLifePartners who share a house''': In the first half of the 20th century, this trope was common in children's comic books – sometimes the main characters would even share a bed and showed [[{{Asexuality}} little or no interest in women]]. However, in the United States [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fredric_Wertham Dr. Frederic Wertham]] anvilled this point repeatedly in his 1954 book ''Seduction of the Innocent'', which sparked a Congressional hearing, after which it became more and more common for adults to [[HoYay interpret this kind of relationship as gay]]. Wertham emphasized that ''even the youngest children understood the characters to be gay''. This inevitably led to a GayPanic and mobilized the MoralGuardians, forcing American comic writers and publishers to abandon this trope and make changes specifically designed to avert it and stop the accusations. In Europe there never was a comparable panic, so this trope continued to exist longer, gradually phasing out during the second half of the 20th century.
** Examples of this trope in comic books include:
*** Franchise/{{Tintin}} and Captain Haddock
*** ComicBook/BlakeAndMortimer
*** ComicBook/SpirouAndFantasio
*** [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Batman and Robin]], until the GayPanic, when the publishers had Dick Grayson's Aunt Harriet move in with him and Bruce Wayne, and introduced stories where Bruce dated women.
** Similar housing arrangements can also be found in non-comics literature:
*** Franchise/SherlockHolmes and Watson (before the latter got married and moved out)
*** A four-way example would be Literature/{{Biggles}} and his three chums, Algy, Ginger and Bertie.

* '''Bullets go ping''': Movie bullets used to make a long pinging sound whenever they hit a rock or metal surface; this sounds ridiculous to most modern ears, although the similar BulletSparks trope remains alive.
** It was used in the ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' computer games as late as 1996 ([[http://www.intuitor.com/moviephysics/ source]]).
** Due to its heavy use in [[TheWestern old Western films]] (enough that the sounds are often associated with the genre), pieces paying homage to the classic era of Westerns will use this effect as a shout-out, similar to using the Wilhelm Scream. ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'' is a good example of this at work.

* '''Rock and roll music causing juvenile delinquency''': This one was fairly widespread during the first few years of rock's existence (mid-1950s, mostly), turning up both in fiction and in real-life accounts. Although juvenile crime is certainly still a problem, since about the 1980s the culprit held responsible has usually been rap music. Rock music hasn't been viewed as a social menace since the 1970s at the very latest, and any complaints from parents about rock and roll nowadays are bound to be about how it supposedly makes young people lazy and stupid, not how it makes them criminals - and as the more highbrow, progressive varieties of rock move more and more into the mainstream, even ''that'' trope has started to disappear.

[[/folder]]


[[folder: 60's to 90's tropes]]

* '''Polack jokes''': Poles were OnceAcceptableTargets, which petered out by the end of TheEighties, partly because no one remembered why Polacks were supposed to be stupid in the first place, and partly because that was when the Poles started seriously kicking political ass, leading to the 1989 fall of Communism in their country. It's hard to make "stupid" jokes about a people who have successfully told the Soviet Union to take a hike.

* '''Typewriter theme music''': A minor trope in old newscasts was using introduction music that emulated the sound of a teleprinter or typewriters. With the predominance of new technology, those devices eventually were considered obsolete, so using such a style of musicalization wasn't making sense anymore (and younger audiences probably wouldn't be able to recognize them anyway). As late as the 1990s, however, some radio news bulletins were still using it as a sort of AffectionateParody of ''The Evening News with Walter Cronkite''. Nowadays, newscast themes are usually "rockish" and/or electronic sounding.

* '''Airplane hijackers demanding to be taken to Cuba''': The airplane hijacker who demands to be taken to Cuba (inspired by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Cuba%E2%80%93United_States_aircraft_hijackings a number of real hijackings]]) had a brief heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, but was already fading into Dead Horse territory by the 1980s, and has since been completely supplanted by hijackers with far more sinister motives.
** ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' played with this. One passenger on a direct flight to Cuba tries to hijack the plane and go to Luton. He ends up talked into jumping off the plane just in time to catch a bus "Straight to Luton," which was then hijacked by a man who demanded to be taken to Cuba. The bus changes its sign to "Straight to Cuba" and turns around.
** ''{{Seinfeld}}'' references the Cuban hijacker trope with Dominican characters that are repeatedly mistaken for Cubans.
** An Italian pop band founded in 1994 is named "dirotta su Cuba" ("hijack towards Cuba")
** In Music/PDQBach's ''The Abduction of Figaro'', Captain Kadd, after his IAmSong, says he's "taking this ship to Cuba." The other characters have to remind him that he's not on a ship ("What do you mean, I'm not on a ship?").
** ''Magazine/{{Cracked}}'' magazine spoofed this phenomenon in the late '60s with a few pages of strips of many other modes of transportation being hijacked, including ice-cream trucks, rickshaws, magic carpets, and horses in the Old West.

* '''Ugly Slavic women''': This will sound strange to European tropers, but in the '60s and '70s a common trope on American TV (and especially stand-up comedy) was the purported extreme ugliness of Russian women. For decades the standard-issue US pop culture Russian woman was either a [[BrawnHilda muscled, mannish athlete]] or a troll-like creature with a mustache wearing a "babushka" (a "grandma kerchief" tied below the chin). Now, thanks to the likes of Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova (both of them athletes, ironically enough), this trope is now increasingly uncommon even in American media.
** To paraphrase an old Soviet joke, "where once were ladies and gentlemen, there are comrades and comrades."
** Watch some old (uncensored) ''Series/TheTonightShow'' monologues -- at least once a week Carson would make a joke about how mind-numbingly ugly Slavic women were. And, since he was the most respected comedian in America, [[FollowTheLeader everyone copied him]].
** YakovSmirnoff was using this as late as TheEighties: "In Russia we have a saying: 'Women are like buses.' That's it."
** Speaking of Smirnoff, this trope became a running gag for his character on NightCourt: In his first appearance on the show, Smirnoff's character ([[TheDanza also named Yakov]]) is an immigrant from Soviet Russia who speaks almost no English, and Harry is forced by circumstance to befriend him despite the language barrier. ItMakesSenseInContext. At one point, Harry gets to see the inside of Yakov's wallet and see photos of his loved ones. Harry is initially confused as to why Yakov has a photo of Soviet Premier Breshnev in his wallet, until Yakov explains that's his ''wife,'' Sonia. Since then, each time Yakov made an appearance, reference is made to how painfully ugly Sonia is, until the episode where finally we get to meet Sonia... and [[SensualSlav she's absolutely gorgeous.]] Naturally, Yakov thinks she's a KGB impostor, even as she claims her new appearance is due to MagicPlasticSurgery, required due to an accident.
** And this wonderful [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWAKtYGJZSM Wendy's commercial.]]
** One joke involved a man going to sleep next to his lovely wife of the first type and being horrified to discover, the next morning, that she has passed her "expiration date" and transformed overnight into the second.
** This trope was used as recently as 2004 in ''Dodgeball'' with the ugly woman with a unibrow from "[[{{Ruritania}} Romanovia]]".

* '''A VCR flashing 12:00AM''': a common gag before the advent of [=DVDs=], due to the notorious difficulty in resetting a VCR's time. The joke doesn't work in the era of DVD players, because the vast majority of them can't record, and thus have no need for clocks in the first place - and those who ''do'' have a clock either have an internal clock battery, or can fetch the local time from the broadcast metadata.
** It used to show up in a lot of Cartoon Network shows like ''JohnnyBravo'' and ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'', with the joke being that someone is a genius but is still unable to reset the VCR, or this being used as an example of newfound brain power.
** Broadcast metadata and the rise of the smartphone have also killed off the trope of multiple characters synchronizing their wristwatches in SpyFiction and TheCaper stories.

* '''Gimmicked "interactive" filmgoing experiences''': 3D [[PopularityPolynomial has come back a few times,]] but what did not was everything else, up to and including systems of pulleys and winches that slung "ghosts" around the cinema to "heighten the experience", Smell-O-Vision (plus copycat [=AromaRama=] and Creator/JohnWaters' variant Odorama), special visors that let you see or not see monsters on the screen, and an elaborate system that gave viewers in the audience joybuzzer-style "electric" shocks so that they would think they were under attack from the movie's monster.
** Part of the plot of ''Film/{{Matinee}}'' is kids going to one of these types of films during the Cuban Missle Crisis. It's implied that they served as escapism from the Cold War.
** The idea of olfactory accompaniment for movies was even older; the "scent organ" in ''Literature/BraveNewWorld'' was merely a futuristic extrapolation of what was already being done occasionally in musical revues.
** There has been one such idea that's been getting rolling lately: D-BOX theaters, where the seats shake in sync with the action on-screen.
** This sort of technique has become very common in theme park attractions, even if your average movie theater doesn't bother with such stunts.
* '''Rock Bimbo''': The "rock bimbo" was a trope that often appeared in comedy through the '80s and early '90s, based on perceptions of female fans of rock bands like Guns n' Roses and Aerosmith as attractive, shallow, dumb, promiscuous partiers and more often than not overlapping with stereotypes of the Valley Girl and images of the singer Madonna from the time. It went away completely with the rise of grunge rock in the '90s - not to mention the rise of alternative rock, which cemented the image of women in rock as musicians in their own right and not just groupies - although similar stereotypes about teenaged and college-aged women still surface, but at least the rock bimbo's look - long feathered hair, dark but skimpy clothing, and wearing lots of long necklaces topped by maybe a large crucifix - has long been a relic. Of course, even today you can attend some heavy-metal "throwback" concerts and see forty- or fiftysomething blonde women trying to prove [[WereStillRelevantDammit they're still relevant...dammit]].
** This shaped the portrayal of Kelly Bundy and her friends on ''MarriedWithChildren'' after the first couple of seasons
** a big part of [[Film/EarthGirlsAreEasy Julie Brown's]] comedy persona especially on the old skit comedy show ''The Edge''.

* '''Not rewinding the tape gag''': Another frequent gag of the 80s and 90s was an ArsonMurderAndJaywalking or FelonyMisdemeanor type joke (along the lines of the MattressTagGag) with the revelation that a villainous character had once returned a rented video without rewinding it. [=DVDs=] quickly [[TropeBreaker killed this joke]].

* '''Teen girls' huge phone bills''': In the 80s and 90s, part of the ValleyGirl stereotype was having a phone in her room and jokes about the immense bills run up and the impossibility of anyone else getting a chance to use the phone line. Thanks to cell phones, with some help from Facebook and [=IMs=], this has bitten the dust. Remnants still exist, such as in ''{{Juno}}'' (though this was mostly just to make a hamburger phone joke) and in TotallyRadical [[TwoDecadesBehind advertising]] aimed at teens. (You can still joke about the phone bills, though.)

* '''"Motherfucker" is a black word''': The term "motherfucker" as a term used by African-Americans. It's noted by a lot of older folklore/analysis of humor books that it was an African-American-only term. For better or worse, it's become a mainstream curseword with no racial associations, beyond a strong association with black actor Creator/SamuelLJackson, who says it a lot.
** There's a joke to the effect that this would be the title of an African-American adaptation of ''Theatre/OedipusTheKing''.
** One episode of set-in-the-1920s ''BoardwalkEmpire'' [[ShownTheirWork shows its work]] when black gangster Chalky uses the word and white protagonist Nucky has never heard it before.
** In the 1999 film ''TheGreenMile'', a Cajun character screams the word in a fit of anger...in the setting of 1930s Louisiana. While it's true that some Cajuns were racially mixed, this one certainly didn't look like he could be. It's probably just a case of PresentDayPast.
** Kept alive (and subverted) by comic Bill Burr, who notes that nobody has a problem with a black guy speaking of an "Asian motherfucker", but Burr is regarded as a bigot when he talks about a "motherfucking Asian".
** Educator James Herndon describes teaching in a segregated school where the white men who ran things had a policy of zero tolerance on saying "motherfucker". They believed it was such a terrible insult that it would automatically start a fight. What they didn't realize was that the worst thing you could call someone was not motherfucker, but ''black.''

* '''Evangelists in airports''': Airports as places where you can expect to be repeatedly accosted by evangelists, Hare Krishnas, political activists, and the like. This was once common in American airports, which were generally considered "public forums" for free speech purposes. A 1992 Supreme Court ruling changed this, allowing airport authorities to make reasonable regulations to avoid congestion and disruption to air travelers, and 9/11 got rid of them for good.
** While the scene is still funny, some of the vicarious thrill of Robert Stack's FoeTossingCharge in ''{{Airplane}}'' is lost on a modern audience. A 1980s traveler really ''did'' have to pass through similar gauntlets of airport attention-seekers, and probably wanted to handle them in Rex Kramer's no-nonsense fashion. However, even if the setting is unfamiliar, the behaviour itself is recognisable to anyone who's ever walked down a pedestrianized high street.
** There are even some episodes of ''TheSimpsons'' that get in on this. Homer makes fun of all the people imploring him to love his neighbor until the two at the end of the line persuaded to join a cult. Another ''Simpsons'' episode inverted the trope with two American missionaries in suits showing up in an airport in India and one Indian muttering: "Oh, great...Christians."

[[/folder]]