{{Visual Novel}}s are a relatively new medium. They are sometimes categorized as a genre of VideoGames, as they are software-based, but given that the relationship ends here, they could also be considered another, independent medium of interactive fiction.

Some of their tropes are shared with Anime, mostly because {{Visual Novel}}s are one of the three main adaptation sources for them, next to {{Manga}} and LightNovels. See also InteractiveStorytellingTropes.

!Plot Tropes:
These are the unique cornerstones of VisualNovel storytelling that could theoretically happen in any medium, but for certain reasons, this format especially encourages them:

* AllAnimeIsNaughtyTentacles \\
A lot of people who aren't VN fans tend to assume that all visual novels are eroge. This was the case in the '00s, but more all-ages games and BleachedUnderpants versions of adult games are more widely available in official versions.
* {{Doorstopper}} \\
It is common for these games to be very long and complex. Normal time for these games are around a full day or two, but several games can go upwards of ''three days'' of straight playing.
* {{Eroge}} \\
The genre of {{Visual Novel}}s that have graphic sex scenes (regardless of their amount or significance in the work.)
* EarnYourHappyEnding \\
The more grimdark some {{Bad End}}s can be, the more {{WAFF}} you can expect from the ''True End''.
* FeaturelessProtagonist \\
Not showing the protagonist's face is an old tradition in the medium, even in cases, where, unlike the rest of the trope's examples, he does have a personality.
* ForWantOfANail \\
Usually, totally different routes can be started by picking up a slightly different choice in the same decision.
* GoldenEnding \\
From the MultipleEndings tradition. Usually known as 'Good End' or 'True End'. Many times it can only be achieved after [[EarnYourHappyEnding going through many Bad Ends.]]
* HaremGenre \\
This setup commonly happens, but it's less prominent than in HaremAnime, because you can focus on one girl early on.
* HowWeGotHere \\
An extremely common way of starting the story, a few days into the future.
* JigsawPuzzlePlot \\
Known in the fandom as MultipleRouteMystery
* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent \\
The most common protagonist type.
* PornWithoutPlot \\
This subgenre of trashy, plotless eroge exists, but they are less likely to get English fan translations.
* PornWithPlot \\
These sort of eroge are more likely to get an English translation and get known outside Japan.
* RenaiGame \\
Romantic stories, one of the main genres.
* {{Utsuge}} \\
A genre name, meaning "Depressing game", usually based on romantic plots.

!Interactivity Tropes:
These are the tropes that the medium shares with video games, originating from the choices that the player can make during the story:

* ButThouMust \\
Things that look like choices but actually enforce a certain direction.
* CrueltyIsTheOnlyOption \\
A side effect of the {{Utsuge}} [[HaremGenre Harem]] genre, where you must ignore the tragedies of every other heroine to solve the chosen route.
* CuttingOffTheBranches \\
Usually sequels follow the ''True End'' of the original story (see below).
* DialogueTree \\
It's practically a staple, except for minor subversions and aversions.
* EarnYourBadEnding \\
The BadEnd requires a surprising amount of extra effort to reach.
* EventFlag \\
Without this, the game would be a KineticNovel. Many decisions are supposed to affect the outcome, but it is so infamous in the games that it is a MemeticMutation ("Whoops, he made the wrong choice! He set off a Death Flag!)
* MultipleEndings \\
''BadEnd'', ''Good End'', ''True End'', and ''Normal End'' are most commonly used names for them.
* OptionalSexualEncounter \\
The entire point of {{Eroge}} routes
* StoryBranching \\
The story changes depending on the player's choices in an given playthrough.
** StoryBranchFavoritism \\
There are multiple story branches but one is better developed by the creator than others.

!Adaptation Tropes:
Due to their unique narrative structure, plot, and interactive nature, the adaptions of {{Visual Novel}}s also have their recognizable quirks:

* AnimeOfTheGame \\
Usually adaptions are focusing on one route, and importing minor parts of other routes into it.
* BleachedUnderpants \\
Many anime adaptions can cut out not just the graphical sex scenes, but even the implication of sex, without heavily changing the plot. Also applies to many localized versions of the [=VNs=] themselves.
* VisualNovelShot \\
A visual clue about the nature of the original source, in an anime adaptation.