[[quoteright:160:[[VisualPun http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/th_UndeadHorse.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:160:[-''WorldOfWarcraft'' uses some tropes so much, they continue into the next world.-] ]]

->''"I'm aware it's a cliche\\
I am aware I'm being stupid, I'm aware of that but hey\\
This is just something that I gotta do..."''
-->-- "Action Movie Hero Boy," Lemon Demon

Generally, there's a standard progression as a trope ages. First, it is born. Once it's become established enough, [[{{Parody}} parodies]] and [[SubvertedTrope subversions]] start to crop up. Through overuse, it ends up eventually becoming a DiscreditedTrope, and subversions might be common enough to be straight examples of new tropes, making it a DeadHorseTrope. Or it could just be [[ForgottenTrope forgotten completely.]]

Sometimes, however, tropes just don't want to die, and the progression skips a step. Subversions are common enough to be their own tropes, yet the original trope, even if it's the [[TheOldestOnesInTheBook Oldest One In The Book]], is still in active use and isn't even (universally -- opinions vary) seen as cliched or corny. It would be a DeadHorseTrope, except it isn't actually dead. It's Undead.

Some tropes that reach this state eventually ascend into OmnipresentTropes, ones that are more like the building blocks of a story which would severely limit writers' options if they were taken off the market. The majority remain [[NecessaryWeasel necessities]] for genre and narrative reasons for which non-cliched explanations have yet to be able to provide a suitable alternative. Sometimes, they persist because of a GrandfatherClause.

Compare and contrast CyclicTrope; contrast DeadUnicornTrope.
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!!Examples of tropes that haven't quite been killed off:

[[index]]

* AgonyBeam: Necessary to show PG suffering.
* AllJustADream: Keeps popping up in cheap direct-to-DVD horror movies even in this century, despite that it's sure to induce a {{headdesk}} from many viewers. Its sister trope, OrWasItADream, keeps happening too. Why? Both these tropes are just too damned convenient.
* AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle: Revived in ''PoliceStop'' in 1994, and ''PoliceCameraAction'' from 2007 onwards, it's now pretty much used in crime/police documentaries, but '''not''' for parody, and it avoids being {{Anvilicious}} in its usage.
* AutoTune: Mocked all the time, yet a standard for all pop music since the late '90s.
* AwfulWeddedLife: A staple of comedy (especially stand-up)
* BeYourself: Keeps popping up in kids' shows even though older viewers might find it trite.
* BigNo: The parodies of this have been around for quite a while, even so it is still being played straight
* BondGunBarrel: Parodied so many times that it became a [[StockParodies stock parody]], but still being played straight by the ''Film/JamesBond'' franchise, either on movies or video games, because [[GrandfatherClause people have come to expect it and]] [[WatchItForTheMeme would complain if it weren't included]].
* BrokenHeel: Along with its countless variations.
* ChainmailBikini: By now, everyone who's not too busy drooling is either groaning or laughing. It's mercilessly parodied again and again for about twenty years... but it still goes on. There's certainly no denying that it ''is'' [[{{Fanservice}} very sexy]], and always will be (at least for certain people).
* CheatCode: Thanks to DLC and online multiplayer, cheat codes are effectively dead for consoles.
* CourtlyLove: Undead for about five hundred years now. Famous [[SubvertedTrope subversions]] appear as far back as ''RomeoAndJuliet'' and ''Literature/TheCanterburyTales''.
* CrateExpectations: Crates in video games have been mocked to death, but won't be going away any time soon. Otherwise, how will we get our randomly generated items?
* CrowdSong: Almost ''required'' for a musical.
* {{Crunchtastic}}: Played straight mainly in media and advertising aimed at kids while hard to take seriously elsewhere.
* DamselInDistress: Has been parodied plenty, but being TheArtifact for a lot of long running series (The Franchise/SuperMarioBros series itself mocks it every time it is used, though Princess Zelda's capturing is more straightlaced), and how it functions well enough for its cheapness, keeps it alive.
* DeathByChildbirth: Even though puerperal fever is rare in developed countries, the HandWave that "Hey, it can still happen!" makes it a great FreudianExcuse. And pueperal fever is not the only thing that can go wrong in childbirth by a long shot. And there are still period pieces [[JustifiedTrope where it shouldn't be rare at all]]. (Recently parodied in ''TheDictator'', where Aladeen's mother is said to have "died in childbirth", but that's only because she was immediately smothered with a pillow so that her son could be raised by the state.)
* DigitalPiracyIsEvil: Plenty of parodies of this exist, but it will most likely continue to get straight use in mainstream media for years to come.
* DramaticWind: Often parodied by having the wind blow hair or objects into the people's faces, but straight examples still invoke the desired effect.
* DumbBlond: Not much excuse for this one but it is certainly still around.
* TheElevatorFromIpanema: ''Most'' elevators these days don't play Muzak anymore, but it certainly sets the stage for many an UncomfortableElevatorMoment.
* EvilLaugh: Indispensible? Hardly.[[note]] [[SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker Well, for most villains anyway.]][[/note]] [[EvilIsHammy Too much fun to give up]]? [[NarmCharm By]] ''[[EvilIsCool far]]''. ([[DrHorriblesSingAlongBlog It's about standards.]])
* ExactEavesdropping: [[SubvertedTrope Subversions]] [[OlderThanSteam predate Shakespeare]], but TV shows continue to play it straight when it'll move the plot along.
* ExplodingBarrels: Like CrateExpectations, it's been done to death and made fun of but sticks around anyway. [[RuleOfCool Explosions are cool, after all]].
* {{Fanservice}}: Despite what modern sensibilities would indicate or expect, this trope persists.
* FreeRangeChildren: In the US parents have known not to let their kids wander all over the town or city since the 1980s. However nearly all shows that focus on groups of children as protagonists still use this trope. The reason being it's pretty much impossible to make a kids show interesting when it features constant parental supervision.
* FunnyBruceLeeNoises: Hackneyed, done to death, not funny any more (and surely can't have been ''that'' funny in the first place), but still used in absolutely every comedy martial arts scenario ever without exception and will be until the end of time.
* GameOver and GameOverMan: The game over screen is almost unheard of in newer first person shooters but still a part of some Nintendo classics and most [[EasternRolePlayingGame JRPGs]].
* HighlyVisibleNinja: Frequently [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] and mocked, but also necessary for RuleOfPerception and RuleOfCool.
* JokeCharacter: The first LethalJokeCharacter probably came around five seconds after the first JokeCharacter, and both are in wide use.
* UsefulNotes/{{Kawaisa}}: Japanese culture's fascination with all things cute has been subverted, deconstructed, and parodied six ways to Sunday for decades, by works inside and out of the country, but it's still going strong.
* KnightInShiningArmor: In a very strange case of this trope, this started out as a {{Dead Unicorn Trope}} since subversions/deconstructions were the norm. But a combination of {{Tabletop RPG}}s, {{Anime}}, {{Disney}}, {{Video Games}}, and plain old {{Reconstruction}} have vastly increased the number of straight examples, though [[{{Newer Than They Think}} the non-ironic uses are a lot more recent]]. Still, parodies are still very common, keeping it in {{Undead Horse Trope}} territory rather than {{Cyclic Trope}}. In other words, {{Knight In Shining Armor}} is a reversal of the usual trope life cycle since subversions were consumed by straight examples.
* LaughTrack: Parodied and mocked as often as played straight.
* LiteralGenie: Or sometimes the [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor Monkeys Paw]] genie or wishes. [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor Wishes are seldom what you intend them to be]], simply because a person could [[StoryBreakerPower end a story very quickly]] with the right wish.
* MaleGaze: Feminists have criticized this trope since [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaze#The_.22male_gaze.22_in_feminist_theory Laura Mulvey brought it to light in 1975]], and nobody else is denying its existence. It's been [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] enough that [[MyEyesAreUpHere a trope in itself]] came out of it. Regardless, it's one of TheOldestOnesInTheBook, having been an important part of human culture [[OlderThanDirt since paleolithic times]]. So it's as prevalent as it's always been, and is found in every medium.
* MillionToOneChance: Played straight most of the time. However, most lighthearted or comedic works will subvert it or play around with it as much as possible.
* [[FauxtivationalPoster Motivational Posters]]: Ubiquitous in schools and offices; [[http://www.despair.com/viewall.html mercilessly mocked]] everywhere else.
* NoAnimalsWereHarmed: Played straight only when needed. Otherwise, a parody of it is a trope of its own.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: It seems like every other movie coming out right now is about vampires... [[Literature/{{Twilight}} but ones that sparkle]].
* OutOfContextEavesdropping: Played straight most of the time, but ripe for {{Lampshading}} or [[SubvertedTrope subversion]].
* PoorMansPorn: Due to [[ValuesDissonance the British (and other) government's]] attempt at "opt-in" filters, this trope will be played straight until governments realizes that [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped not everything pornographic is bad.]]
* PopGoesTheHuman: Largely discredited, as it was pretty much born from an UrbanLegend that if you eat too much, you will explode. However, works that don't take themselves seriously, and/or are not going for uber-realism will still use it.
* PowerOfFriendship and PowerOfLove: Old and cliched? Yes. Does that stop people from using them today? Definitely no. Not only that, but both of them are still two good morals to teach to people (as long as you're not anvilicious about them).
* PreviouslyOn: Irrelevant in the age of DVD season collections and digital recording, but it keeps getting used because TV viewers are just too lazy.
* RealIsBrown: Still used quite a bit during the 7th Generation, but good games are subverting it more and more due to the rise of real time Global Illumination, among other technologies. The 8th Generation is only seeing its use decrease further with the extra computational power present.
* SantaClaus: He remains omnipresent in most [[ChristmasEpisode Christmas-related episodes]] simply by the power of inertia. Unlikely to go away anytime soon, since he is so firmly rooted in the public consciousness and pop culture.
* SchoolBullyingIsHarmless: If only due to ''Take A Break'' magazines and the general 'real life' magazine genre, it's unlikely to go away anytime soon, and so survives in limbo from becoming a DeadHorseTrope, or indeed a DiscreditedTrope.
* ScoringPoints: Recent games removed points entirely, or goes as far as to even ''mock'' the trope. Yet even today, many casual games and shmups still play it straight.
* SillyLoveSongs: If you get rid of this, the entire popular music industry is ''doomed''.
* SlowClap: The reason why it's still around is that this is a real phenomenon called "mob psychology".
* {{Sting}}: The classic "Dun dun dun!" is parodied most often or subverted by having a character say it instead. Different types of stings are still played straight, but are generally parodied.
* StuffedIntoTheFridge: While often subverted with a FakeKillScare or other means, writers will still play it straight when they need the hero to [[TrueArtIsAngsty be more angsty]] or go on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* SubvertedSuspicionAesop: While there's [[DiscreditedTrope a reason]] why {{Subverted}} is in the title, aside from the fact that it can be a literal [[EvilAllAlong subve]][[ParanoiaFuel rsion]], it still manages to be played straight.
* TakingTheBullet: Despite the obvious comedic value of someone doing a DivingSave in front of something harmless (or better still, being just a ''bit'' off in the timing), this form of HeroicSacrifice is still profound when played straight.
* TalkAboutTheWeather: Small talk simply [[BlatantLies can't be portrayed any other way.]]
* TemptingFate: No one is ever surprised anymore whenever something bad happens after this trope is invoked, yet it's unlikely that writers will ever stop using it nonironically.
* TrainingMontage: The version of this trope used in movies during the TheEighties, usually set to the song "Gonna Fly Now", has been frequent parody fodder for a long time now. Training montages are still in use, but, unless it's in a comedy, they won't be set to triumphant power ballads anymore.
* VendorTrash: Introduces an inventory management puzzle to treasure acquisition by withholding ready drops of currency for items of no use except to clutter inventory and offload for a handful of scratch. Such a venerable tradition of RPG games that even games that try to streamline gameplay for more action emphasis (or shoehorn RPGElements) are obligated to include it.
* VerySpecialEpisode: Although less used in [[{{SoapOpera}} Soap Operas]] and TV dramas, it's still played straight, and will keep going as long as dramas like ''GreysAnatomy'', ''HolbyCity'', ''CriminalMinds'', and documentaries like ''PoliceCameraAction'' still exist.
* AWinnerIsYou: Most endings of classic games from NES/SNES era were extremely simplistic. as time went by, the endings became more developed and even games with [[{{ExcusePlot}} excuse plots]] started having elaborate endings, but even in the modern generations, there are still [[{{Shovelware}} Shovelware]] games that have endings in the same vein as 8-bit games, even blockbuster games sometimes have it, some games with MultipleEndings have this as EasyModeMockery.
* YouAllMeetInAnInn: Dates back to ''Literature/TheCanterburyTales'', still prevalent in [[TabletopGames Tabletop [=RPGs=]]].
* ZombieApocalypse: Similar to [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]]. However, it is more of a CyclicTrope, due to the concept being kept in vogue by the extremely broad array of ways it is portrayed.
[[/index]]
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