[[quoteright:174:[[Webcomic/{{xkcd}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tv_tropes_is_like_crack.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:174:[[http://www.xkcd.com/609/ Not to mention all the tabs he opened.]]]]

->''It's really good when I can just link to TV Tropes, because then I know you'll have hours of reading without me having to do anything else.''
-->--'''[[{{Tropers/dmmaus}} David Morgan-Mar]]''', ''IrregularWebcomic'' [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/1929.html #1929]]

A common complaint of people who take courses like Media or Film studies is that they never look at a TV program, advertisement or film the same way ever again.

Analyzing a medium in depth and pulling it apart by the [[{{Tropes}} seams]] teaches you to watch things critically -- analyzing every aspect and codifying them inside your mind.

Most tropers, academics, directors or writers who do this start to find new ways to enjoy media. The subtle blends of plots, the new spins on old stories. The rare and welcome times where a plot you weren't expecting appears. [[MeasuringTheMarigolds But it is never the same.]]

Enjoyment comes from a balance of Recognition and Surprise -- we enjoy things that we can relate to and have seen before, but we also like to be surprised. Total recognition is cliché; total surprise is alienating. Through comparing different works of fiction, browsing TV Tropes will merge surprise almost entirely with recognition and you will begin analyzing everything and taking a totally new (and possibly better) enjoyment from media - [[TheoryOfNarrativeCausality or reality]].

Also, according to [[http://www.salient.org.nz/features/tv-tropes-will-ruin-your-life this article]], TV Tropes is actually a path that mirrors our desire to fictionalize and narrativize our lives.

Who knows, they could be right. At any rate, keep these goodies in mind:

* TropesAreTools, not clichés. They are plot devices and progressions (similar to but more defined than literary devices) that have been around for a long time because they ''work'', and there's no inherent loss of complexity through the use of them [[DiscreditedTrope (most of the time)]].
* Note the inherent creativity of many shows. Hell, you'd be [[TheTropelessTale unable]] to find a show that doesn't use tropes, especially given that the avoidance of some tropes are tropes in and of themselves. You're failing to appreciate the material if you immediately assume the show is unoriginal if there is a trope involved.
* Thinking about what you watch and acting critically toward it ''makes you an active, intelligent viewer,'' pulling you away from the LowestCommonDenominator who just buys whatever the media pushes on him.
* The [[MST3KMantra MST3K Mantra]] and the BellisariosMaxim.
* What you loved about television/video games/other format in the first place, and how you were able to HandWave the flaws inherent to the medium back then. It'll take time to stop analyzing every minute detail, but if you stick with good quality entertainment you'll rarely be disappointed.

Now we warn you about the amount of time you will spend browsing the website in your first few weeks of visiting. Some editors spend [[JustOneMoreLevel 7 hour+ periods]] just [[ArchiveBinge reading through the thousands of pages]], going through an extended WikiWalk. This effect is best shown by [[http://xkcd.com/609/ this]] Webcomic/{{xkcd}} comic. These steps will help:

* Stay away from tabbed browsing.
* Do not stay up ''all frakking night'' editing pages.
* And whatever you do, do '''not''' join the TVTropesForum thinking you can be an "occasional poster". If TVTropesWillRuinYourLife, the addictive forum will prove you never had one to begin with.

See also SugarWiki/TVTropesWillEnhanceYourLife, DarthWiki/TVTropesRuinedYourLife, TVTropesWillRuinYourVocabulary, TVTropesAsAGatewayDrug, TVTropesWikiDrinkingGame (which will ruin your liver), JustOneMoreLevel.

[[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/soomanypagesssss2.jpg Image of a typical TV Tropes session]].