->''"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."''
-->-- '''Inigo Montoya''', ''Film/ThePrincessBride''

A Wiki/TVTropes [[WikiTropes Wiki Trope]] involving the [[YouKeepUsingThatWord loose usage]] of the term "[[SubvertedTrope subversion]]".

!! SubvertedTrope vs. AvertedTrope
People tend to label any series that merely completely avoids a certain trope as a "subversion," when in fact that's called an ''aversion''. It's only a '''sub'''version if the creator sets up the trope ''within the work'', creating an expectation that the trope will be used, and then does something else. It's an '''a'''version when the genre itself creates the expectation that the trope will be used, but it isn't even set up within the work.

For instance, if the trope in question is "[[LaughTrack pre-recorded laughter that punctuates every joke in a sitcom]]":
* Aversion: The show has no laugh track.
* Subversion: The pilot episode begins with an especially obnoxious laugh track, but it [[DiegeticSwitch turns out to be]] part of a ShowWithinAShow. After that, it's never heard again.

A good rule of thumb for remembering which is which is that a ''subv''ersion is where the writer literally "''subv''erts our expectations," while an ''av''ersion is where the writer completely ''av''oids them from the get-go. (in fact, it might even be better for aversions to simply be called "avoidances," were it not for the enormous hassle such a change would be for this site).

Aversions hardly ever need to be noted. To quote AvertedTrope, unless the trope is so universal within a genre that exceptions truly stand out, there's not much point in listing an aversion on an ''examples'' list that serves to illustrate a trope's patterns and their prevalence. However, if works in a series make notable use of a trope, then aversion in later installments also become notable.

!! SubvertedTrope vs. InvertedTrope
A ''slightly'' more subtle distinction; inverted tropes are sometimes incorrectly described as "subverted". An inverted trope is where the usual setup of the trope is in some way swapped: [[GenderInvertedTrope sex-flipped versions]] are quite common, though by no means the only example.

As an example, if the trope in question is the BlackDudeDiesFirst:
* Inversion: Everyone dies ''except'' the black dude.
* Subversion: The show makes it look like the black dude is going to die first, but then he doesn't.

A trope can of course be both inverted and subverted, if the viewer or reader is led to expect the straight version only to be given an inversion of some kind, but an inverted trope is not automatically also a subverted one: there needs to be a genuine attempt to suggest that the trope is going to be used straight to qualify as a "subversion". Continuing the example above:

* Subversion ''and'' inversion: The show makes it look like the black dude is going to die first, but he doesn't--everyone ''else'' dies instead.

!! SubvertedTrope vs. JustifiedTrope
Worse, occasionally a ''slight'' spin on the standard trope formula, such as the addition of a justification, is seized upon as a subversion by the occasional fan, perhaps because they don't want to acknowledge that a trope was played deadly straight [[TropesAreTools to good effect]] in their favourite work. The reverse assumption is also common.

!! SubvertedTrope vs. DeconstructedTrope
Occasionally, {{Deconstruction}}s are also listed as subversions. A DeconstructedTrope is played completely straight, and so is not a subversion even though they subvert people's expectations of the ''consequences'' of a trope. There's also a related problem of people mislabelling things as deconstructions or deconstructed tropes [[NotADeconstruction when they aren't]], but that's another matter.

!! SubvertedTrope vs. DownplayedTrope

Sometimes, when people talk of a "partial subversion", they mean DownplayedTrope, where the trope is still present, but to a much lesser degree.

!! SubvertedTrope vs. PlayingWithATrope
Beware ye these abominable WeaselWords that refer to various methods of PlayingWithATrope:

* "Slightly subverted in that..."
* "Semi-subverted when..."
* "Partially subverted..."
* "[[Administrivia/ConversationInTheMainPage Actually]] somewhat subverted because..."
* "A [[Administrivia/ExamplesAreNotArguable possible]] subversion is..."

A ''real'' subversion plays off the expectation of a familiar trope being set up in the viewers mind. Subtle, even laudably creative, variants are not that. When a trope ''is'' subverted it's very, very obvious: there is no "somewhat."

!! SubvertedTrope vs. Played Straight
Sometimes, a trope is marked as a subversion even though it's actually played straight. This is most likely to happen in a trope that can be played straight in a number of ways, but one method is chosen the majority of the time. An example of this kind of trope is DownToTheLastPlay. Though it doesn't ''have'' to be the protagonists' team that dramatically wins the game, it almost ''always'' is.
* Played Straight: The game ends in a dramatic fashion, regardless of whether or not it's the protagonists' side that's victorious.
* Subversion: It looks like the game will go down to the wire, with the teams tied for most of the game, but then someone scores in the third quarter (or seventh inning) and then it peters out anticlimactically.

!! SubvertedTrope vs. SquarePegRoundTrope
Worst case scenario, the so-called "subversion" is actually not an example at all. If the event that gets "subverted" is Administrivia/NotATrope, it is not a subversion because there is no trope. It's just BaitAndSwitch.

If you ever see SubvertedTrope listed ''as an example'', it's probably this.