Symbolism is a very old, common and broad trope used to represent an idea, belief, event or other similar things by using a lesser object or event to represent it. For example, the color green will often represent envy and jealousy or red may represent wrath. Objects can symbolize many different things as well: An apple could easily represent temptation, [[AppleOfDiscord conflict]] or knowledge depending on how it's used. In a mundane way, you can even have very common cases like a flag representing a country.
As such a widespread and useful trope for making a point, symbolism has a massive amount of usage and subtropes, so please do not list examples on this page.
* ArcSymbol: A symbol appears over and over again, often with no explanation for what it means until much later.
* BlueIsHeroic: Blue is associated with calmness, kindness and the heavens, and it's frequently the go-to color for intellectual heroes.
* ColorMotif: Colors often represent complex emotions or ideas such as passion, warmth, wisdom or love.
* CrucifiedHeroShot: A character makes a grave sacrifice and ends up with their body positioned as though it were crucified.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Metaphoric symbolism.
* DyingForSymbolism: Death of a character is death of hope.
* EnvironmentalSymbolism: The setting represents the mood.
* EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory: Everything can be seen as religious symbolism.
* FauxSymbolism: When a trope seems symbolic, but closer examination reveals that it makes no sense.
* FreudWasRight: Whatever it is, it represents sex.
* GoldAndWhiteAreDivine: Gold and white are precious, rare and valuable and therefore associated with God or the gods.
* GoldTooth: The character is wealthy but likely ostentatious and villainous.
* GoodColorsEvilColors: Certain colors indicate morality and personality.
* HeavenlyBlue: Divinity or holiness are associated with blue due to the association with the sky.
* MatingDance: Represents sex.
* MessianicArchetype: This guy represents Jesus.
* PelvicThrust: Pelvic thrusts represent sexual intercourse.
* PhallicWeapon: Weapons represent penises.
* PinkHeroine: Pink is associated with youthful femininity so the heroine of a girl-targeted show is often decked out in pink.
* PurpleIsPowerful: Purple is regal, powerful and amazing.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Red eyes are unnatural and red is a color with a mixed reputation, making red eyes dangerous.
* RedIsHeroic: Red is associated with blood, masculinity and power, so action heroes often wear red.
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: Reptiles are associated with villainy.
* RuleOfSymbolism: When symbolism is used in a manner that would otherwise break the WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief but is swallowed by the reader because it gets across the real point so well.
* SerpentOfImmortality: Snakes symbolise immortality, regeneration and rebirth.
* SomethingElseAlsoRises: Something represents an erection or arousal.
* StockMonsterSymbolism: Certain monsters represent certain fears like drug addiction or [=STDs=].
* SupernaturalIsPurple: Magical things are often purple to represent their mystique.
* SurrealSymbolicHeads: A person's head is replaced by something bizarre and meaningful.
* SwanBoats: Riding swans, having swan-shaped boats or boats pulled by swan represent love, romance, leisure or art.
* SymbolicBlood: It's not blood... technically.
* SymbolicMutilation: A missing body part or injury reveals something about the character.
* SymbolMotifClothing: A character's clothing regularly represents something important about them.
* TemptingApple: Apples symbolise temptation and desire.
* ToolsOfSapience: A nude character (human or non-human) is shown to be sapient by carrying and using artifacts.
* WorldOfSymbolism: The story is built out of symbolism. Reading it literally is a waste of your time.
* YellowEyesOfSneakiness: A character with yellow eyes is thought to have a sneaky and conniving nature.