* Creator/WilliamShakespeare:
** He's Da Man and one of the most universal creative forces that there ever were. There is a reason ShoutOutToShakespeare is such a large trope and that his plays, characters and quotes are {{Trope Namer}}s.
** Some works of fiction would have you believe that he's the only dramatist who wrote plays and did theatre. His plays are the only ones ever written -- and then only a few of them ever show up. They're usually the tragedies, such as ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' and ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''.
** '''Very''' rarely, ''Theatre/{{Coriolanus}}'' will get a mention, but [[HehHehYouSaidX only for a laugh because the title includes "anus"]].
** ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'', aka The Scottish Play, is referenced sometimes, usually because of the curse. Some writers obviously like poking fun at actors.
** Any homage, parody, or reference to Shakespeare will be either [[Theatre/{{Hamlet}} the bit with Yorick's skull, or the "to be or not to be" line]]. Or both at the same time.
** ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'': "Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?", in which case 'wherefore' will be (mis)taken to mean 'where' and not 'why'. Don't assume the audience knows about the DownerEnding, though.
** "If you prick us, do we not bleed?" gets mentioned, but almost never as part of ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice''.
** The BandOfBrothers speech from ''Theatre/HenryV'' has been getting a lot of publicity, this could be due to [[Series/BandOfBrothers an acclaimed HBO miniseries]] having the phrase as its name.
* Creator/GeorgeBernardShaw might be brought up instead of Shakespeare, but only in reference to ''Theatre/{{Pygmalion}}'' and ''MyFairLady''.
* If the SchoolPlay isn't Shakespeare, it's probably Thornton Wilder's ''OurTown''.
* When it comes to TheMusical, the only creators brought up are RodgersAndHammerstein (mostly for ''Oklahoma!''), Creator/StephenSondheim (''Sweeney Todd'''s the only work of his that's specifically referenced), and Creator/AndrewLloydWebber (for ''Cats'', ''ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', and [[StarlightExpress that one with the roller skates]]).
* There have been only two circus companies ever: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (traditional) and Creator/CirqueDuSoleil (contemporary). And don't expect depictions of the latter to acknowledge that it presents [[CirqueDuSoleilIndex a variety of different productions]] and draws on an international talent pool -- it's almost invariably presented as a single troupe that only employs French/French-Canadian performers. If you're from the Greater Los Angeles (California) area, you can add Circus Vargas to the above list, and New Yorkers can add the Big Apple Circus.
** Only lion tamers ever? Clyde Beatty (the guy who invented using a whip and a chair) or Gunther Gabel-Williams.
** Aerialists? The Flying Wallendas (or maybe the Zacchinis, if you're at least a casual circus buff).
** Clowns? Pretty much just Emmett Kelly. (Bozo, Clarabelle, etc. don't count because they weren't actually circus clowns.)
** Sideshow performers? General Tom Thumb or Chang and Eng (the "Siamese twins").
** Famous circus animals? Just Jumbo the Elephant (and when it comes to ''fictional'' circus animals, Mrs. Jumbo and {{Dumbo}}). Old Joe the Dromedary is only known indirectly, as the model for the camel on the Camel Cigarettes pack...and eventually for the most controversial advertising mascot in history, Joe Camel.
** Magicians? Harry Houdini (never mind that he was an escape artist, not a magician). Maybe David Copperfield and Siegfried and Roy if you're lucky.
* Did Creator/OscarWilde write more plays than ''TheImportanceOfBeingEarnest''? He did, and some are as hilarious as this one, and he also wrote a tragedy in one act, but it's just that Earnest is such a funny and MeaningfulName...
* There are only three French playwrights : Corneille, Racine and Molière - who all lived in the same century. Also, Corneille only ever wrote ''Le Cid'' ; never mind that it is fairly atypical compared to the rest of his work.
* Being a fan of ''Theatre/FiddlerOnTheRoof'' is a good way to establish a character's Jewish identity.

!! Exceptions:
* [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespeare]] both embodies and defies this trope - he put in a lot of references to very famous (in his time) figures, but also dug up some obscure things. He designed his plays to appeal both to the intellectuals and 'the groundlings'.
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