Visit entries from: [[TruthInTelevision/{{A-C}} A to C]]/[[TruthInTelevision/{{D-F}} D to F]]/[[TruthInTelevision/{{G-I}} G to I]]/[[TruthInTelevision/{{J-L}} J to L]]/[[TruthInTelevision/{{M-O}} M to O]]/[[TruthInTelevision/{{P-R}} P to R]]/'''You are here'''/[[TruthInTelevision/{{V-Z}} V to Z]]
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* {{Sabotutor}}: Sometimes happens in abusive relationships. In a more benign case, happens when the teacher realizes the person he's teaching is not going to use the skill for anything good (e.g. a gun instructor realizes his student is planning on committing a murder) and tries to make sure the person will be as ineffective as possible, while also likely notifying authorities if need be.
** Also an EnforcedTrope (sometimes by MoralGuardians and other times by law) in almost all televised or otherwise demonstrated drug chemistry, explosive chemistry, and similarly dangerous activities that require a process of steps or ingredients or the like - even in depictions intended for adults' eyes only. Important ingredients, process steps, etcetera ''will'' be left out, in the hopes that, say, people ''can't'' learn how to make methamphetamine from Series/BreakingBad or that kids watching an educational show about science won't accidentally create a bomb with mentos and Coke. Famously {{Lampshaded}} by the Series/{{Mythbusters}} when cooking up Thermite: "don't mix blur with blur"
* SacredHospitality: In ''much'' of the world for a very long time, hospitality was required of people in this way. In fact, the reason for the story of the destruction of Sodom in Literature/TheBible was ''not'' homosexuality but was that the residents of Sodom were cruel and xenophobic rather than hospitable, to the extent of ''[[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil raping]]'' guests who had the temerity to stay in order to humiliate them.
* SacrificedBasicSkillForAwesomeTraining: The amount of time you need to spend to become an expert on something is, on average, around 10,000 hours[[note]]1 year, 51 days and 16 hours[[/note]]. That time has come from ''somewhere'' - usually socialization.
* SadisticChoice: One of the more common and more nasty DirtySocialTricks. One key to escaping it is remembering that there is almost always a third option, even if the third option would risk your health/life/finances/etc as much as one or both of the offered options, it might actually be ''worth it'' to avoid the person making you make such choices.
* SadistTeacher: A few have existed.
* SafeSaneAndConsensual: The ethical approach to sexual activity, especially sexual activity that could involve risk beyond the usual.
* SafeWord: Yes, people do use them. And if people don't, you should probably not be doing BDSM play with them.
* TheSavageSouth: Until recent times, areas near the equator were seen by many Europeans and Americans as not only unpleasantly hot but also arid or sopping wet and full of dangerous large animals like panthers and lions. If the heat or animals did not kill you, the diseases borne by biting flies or mosquitoes would. Modern advances in dealing with disease and wild animals have resulted in a more "friendly" outlook on these places as the risks are more easily managed.
* SandBridgeAtLowTide: Mont Saint-Michel, a French islet near the coastline of Normandy. The Bering Strait at one point.
* SandInMyEyes: In places and cultures where MenDontCry is in effect, this is often invoked as a way to get away with ManlyTears.
* SanitySlippage: Because when people become TheMentallyDisturbed in real life, it's often a slow, agonizing public process for things like Alzheimer's dementia, [[OffTheWagon uncontrolled addictions]], or schizophrenia (e.g. everyone involved knows something is wrong, ''often including the sufferer himself/herself''), or a slow, subtle, private process until the illness is moderate to severe (anxiety, {{functional addict}}ions, depression, and OCD often fall in here - in the milder stages of depression, for example, you might just feel a bit hopeless and pessimistic, and no one around you can tell your inner state).
* SarcasmBlind: Young age, and/or being unfamiliar with a culture and its means of sarcasm can cause this.
** Can also happen with people on the autism spectrum. There's also neurotypical people who don't get sarcasm. Like the DumbBlonde, or anyone unfamiliar with a language and/or culture. Aphasia and aprodosia, where because of a brain injury, someone physically cannot comprehend what you're saying, are some other reasons.
* SarcasmFailure: Sometimes, even the most snarky people can be overwhelmed by something so tragic or stupid there is no point in snark, either because it is TooSoon or [[DudeNotFunny not funny]], or because the situation is so stupid it snarks itself.
* SarcasticConfession: Happens far more often than you think, and sometimes, it works.
* SatanIsGood: The belief of some theistic and non-theistic Satanists, and of some other Left Hand Path beliefs.
* SavedByTheAwesome: Just like the CowboyCop and MilitaryMaverick can be found in RealLife, so can this; this being the reason they exist in the first place.
* SayItWithHearts: Some people on the internet tend to love using heart emoticons.
* ScamReligion: They have existed. No real life examples are allowed, but people throughout history have used religion or even created religions or sects with the express or at least secondary intent of separating followers from their money.
* ScareCampaign: How ''many'' political campaigns are run, because fear, uncertainty, and doubt appeals to low-information voters.
* ScaryAmoralReligion: Followers of monotheistic legalistic beliefs believe any religion that doesn't have a strict law code and a deity that enforces it is this, because "how can you be good without (our) God?" Alternately, some atheists and followers of religions with a hedonistic, humanistic, polytheistic, or pantheistic view view monotheistic religion with strict law codes as this - "if we rely on a book to always give us our ethics and morals, we are giving up our responsibility as individual moral beings to those who interpret that book."
* SchizoTech: Around us every day in most places, though at its most extreme in developing countries or places of poverty or disaster. That said, if you're reading this page on a desktop computer while in a 1970s-built building, drinking a beer (ancient) or a soda (early 1900s) as you do so, while checking a text on your smartphone, you are an example right now.
* SchoolgirlLesbians: If you're in high school or college, you probably know a few. Aka "[=LUGs=]" (Lesbian Until Graduation) or "Daddy's money lesbians". Bisexuality is the new "I'm soooo drunk".
* SchoolNewspaperNewshound: At least at the high school and college levels, this trope has surprisingly become ''more'' TruthInTelevision over time, since schools are often somewhat less bound to corporate media interests, there are less consequences for someone who ''hasn't'' become established in official media yet, and citizen journalism + NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity has become popular among younger people. The result is that especially at the college level, a college paper reporter might have far more latitude to investigate and write a hard-hitting investigative piece and/or freelance write it for the local alternative weekly or an internet site than an establishment reporter with a long career that could be damaged beyond repair from the wrong backlash.
* ScopeSnipe: Carlos Hathcock pulled this off during the Vietnam War, but it's near impossible to do unless under the ''exact'' conditions.
* TheScrappy: Bill collectors are one of the most hated professions out there largely in part due to their (justified) very bad reputation. Attorneys and estate agents, politicians, [[AcceptableProfessionalTargets the list goes on]].
* ScreamingBirth: Because giving birth is not a fun or enjoyable or painless experience for most, especially with natural childbirth.
* ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules: Some people cannot be bought, and this is why sometimes offering a bribe can get someone nowhere except in deeper trouble.
* ScrewPolitenessImASenior: Because of dementia, or sometimes because of feeling as if one has earned the right not to respect younger people.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections: The reason why celebrities often get off the hook.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: Because only the richest can [[BribingYourWayToVictory bribe their way to victory]].
* ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem: Politicians, corporations, and the interplay between them.
* ScrewTheRulesImBeautiful: Behind the DoubleStandard regarding student/teacher affairs and DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale - if the pedophile or ephebophile is female and hot, she often gets sympathetic treatment from the media and the victim is celebrated as somehow having "scored" rather than being a victim. If the pedophile/ephebophile is male, he is evil and the victim is seen as a tragic, DefiledForever victim.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: Along with ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules, the only two here that aren't [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism cynical]].
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Severe weather quite often invokes this trope, for ''very'' good reason. Here is ''one'' of the many examples [[http://youtu.be/HMZ0H1H3Jm4 where a tornado is headed for a news station]]
* ScrewYourself: Is possible via realdoll or other sufficiently realistic mannequin/wax doll/etcetera, or having an explicit content roleplay with someone whose avatar looks exactly like your own in SecondLife or WorldOfWarcraft.
* {{Scrub}}: They exist ''everywhere'' and not just in gaming, but in ''anything'' where someone can be (falsely or rightly) accused of cheating or gaming the system or not playing "by the right rules."
* SdrawkcabAlias: Often used for corporate naming or for places people aren't creative or interested enough in inventing a creative pseudonym.
* SealedEvilInACan: Any drug (legal or otherwise) with a serious potential for addiction or a fatal side effect.
* SealedGoodInACan: The Svalbard seed vault and other heirloom and traditional seed and plant vaults and storages - the only hope of the world to avoid starving to death in the event of anything from nuclear war to a genetic modification mistake. Reserves of vaccines, medications, and other necessary health items so ''if'' there is a pandemic or a major disaster that reduces healthcare to pre 20th century levels, there's some chance at saving lives from it and/or bringing conditions back to their pre-disaster levels.
* SecondaryFire: Many weapons have burst and autofire modes or even grenade launchers attached to the gun.
* SecondLawOfGenderBending: Applies to ''many'' if not ''most'' real life transgendered people, even ''if'' they aren't able to pass fully or their life as who they are is more difficult than had they just "not changed," etcetera.
* SecretIdentity: Instead of superheroes who do this in real life, though, it is people such as spies (who have to create new personas and identities wherever they go), identity thieves, and various internet trolls. Though it's also done by non-trolls on the internet who want to have one identity to engage in conduct that their family or boss might not approve of, or for an argument with or activity against people one does not wish to be personally identified to (e.g. one is arguing with or organizing action against Neo-Nazis or violent homophobes) among many other reasons.
* SecretKeeper: Some people do keep their friends or family members' secrets. Lawyers and priests are legally bound, in many places, to absolute confidentiality - anything you tell your lawyer or a priest/monk/similar is ''off limits'' to anyone else unless ''you'' choose to release the information. Spouses are also allowed to invoke this privilege at least in the US. Medical professionals including therapists can vary - their records ''can'' be accessed and subpoenaed easier than a lawyer's or priest's, for example, and if they themselves feel you are a threat (or sometimes, a drug user/drug seeker) they can act to inform law enforcement - but there is some level of confidentiality as long as you are not discussing anything related toward violence directed toward others or yourself, or the use/sale/possession/seeking of controlled or banned substances.
* SecretSecretKeeper: Sometimes done by people trying to maintain a TransparentCloset for example, other times, done when the secret is an OldShame or an insult to be brought up to the person.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: Sometimes this is done to judge trustworthiness in an employment situation, for example. It's not a very reliable method, at least when done with small-value items (e.g. the person might pick up the pen left on the desk thinking they're given free to all interviewees, or the unpaid intern might steal the occasional office supplies/take home the leftover coffee or food/pocket a dropped quarter from the floor but is otherwise highly trustworthy.)
* SecularHero: Belief in God or gods is ''not'' necessary for someone to save lives and/or property, as the ''many'' atheist or agnostic police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians and emergency medicine/trauma surgery doctors (among many other professions that protect life and property) will happily tell you.
* SeenItAllSuicide: Some have happened. Can also happen when the person who is at the top realizes everything is about to crumble out from under them and they are at the best moment of their life right then and there.
* SeinfeldianConversation: It is arguable that there is ''nothing'' more realistic than this trope. Indeed, an argument over that would be the perfect example. Absolutely ''any'' conversation will turn into this if entered in the middle.
* SelectiveEnforcement: It happens by any law enforcement agency ever. Sometimes, it's a good thing (if every petty law was enforced to its full extent at every possible moment in the most literal way, there would be ''no one'' who was not a criminal, which is actually why Zero Tolerance is such a bad idea), and other times not so much (when money or political influence allows people who ''should'' be arrested and prosecuted to get away with their crimes, while poorer or more stupid people are vacuumed up for doing far less and sentenced far more harshly to fill the jails, e.g. someone who shoplifts $50 worth of food or clothes is arrested and jailed, someone who steals five billion dollars is a bank CEO given a congratulatory pat on the back and a bailout)
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: There are many cases when it has happened. See the article.
* SelfGuardingPhlebotinum: Most of the worst nuclear sources that could be used to create a viable nuclear weapon but aren't already encased within one and even most of the radioactive sources that could create a "dirty bomb" or widespread serious contamination are ''so'' radioactive they would kill any terrorist or criminal who tried to make one or spread the contamination - meaning only the suicidal, who ''don't'' tend to be the most educated and capable scientists, would even try - and their lack of knowledge and skill would only hasten their deaths. It's argued that this is the reason why there ''hasn't'' been, to this day, a nuclear terror attack: the building of nuclear weapons or even nuclear dispersal devices is just ''too dangerous'' and no country that can make them is willing to sell them.
* SelfMadeMan: There are a few people who ''might'' qualify as such, but even most of them have had help (at least via privilege, e.g. being white and male and heterosexual in a society that values that, and often a lot more help than that).
* {{Seme}}: Some gay and bisexual men ''are'' exclusive tops, and some of those are also dominant in the BDSM sense of the term, and someone falling into both groups (exclusive top, BDSM dominant) would technically make them this. That said, ''none'' of them would likely use this term to refer to themselves, as it is a construct of a form of fiction they ''would not read.''
* SenselessViolins: The 2008 Northern Illinois University shooter managed to bypass the campus security by packing a pair of shotguns inside a guitar case.
* SerenadeYourLover: Some people have done this.
* SerendipitousSymphony: There are musical pieces based on this, and the concept of "everything is an instrument" in Noise music and in some forms of electronic music takes it UpToEleven.
* SerialRomeo: Some people don't want to settle down with one person.
* SerialSpouse: In places where divorces are easy to obtain (and in some where they aren't) these do exist.
* SeriousBusiness: Unsung rule of life, the universe and everything: if it exists, somebody out there is taking it VERY seriously.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: As noted in the entry, Williams Syndrome. Some forms of autism and Asperger's Syndrome will cause this as well.
* SexChangesEverything: For ''some'' couples. Not all.
* SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll: A definite TruthInTelevision for some artists and musicians, and even justified slightly in that sometimes the use of mind-altering substances can be seen as necessary to access inspiration or work on a nigh-impossible schedule or the like, and that having ''consensual'' sex with lots of different people or with FriendsWithBenefits is very much an individual preference which some people might choose over a more stable or "normal" relationship, especially if their lifestyle (long tours, being a workaholic) would ensure the failure of a more traditional relationship.
* SexIsEvil: Believed by some religious people to be a necessary evil for procreation alone, or evil unless kept within very strict rules and bounds.
* SexIsGood: Believed by some of those same people for their specific type(s) of allowed sex. Believed by ''most'' people in general who aren't asexual (and by most asexual people who believe it is, it's just not for them).
* SexIsInteresting: At least in the minds of advertising executives, who will happily use the nebulous promise of it [[SexForProduct to sell anything.]]
* SexlessMarriage: For a variety of reasons: IncompatibleOrientation (or {{Asexuality}}) or simply falling out of love or interest in sex being some more common ones, but religion and long-term separation can also cause this.
* SexSlave: Unfortunately. If you suspect someone is one, there are often resources for human trafficking and it's a good idea to contact such a resource.
* SexTourism: Exists on a spectrum of {{squick}}, from couples resorts, cruises, and other ventures to connect consenting adults, all the way to pedophiles seeking children overseas.
* SexualExtortion: One of the most common forms of sexual harassment and sexual harassment lawsuits.
* SexyWhateverOutfit: Rule34's SFW (or not as NSFW) version.
* ShakingTheRump: Commonly done by women in urban communities, as they would name it "twerking".
* ShapedLikeWhatItSells: A common advertising method in real life.
* ShareTheMalePain: It happens, similar to vomiting making others feel sick.
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: Has happened to some people.
* ShipperOnDeck: Very common in schools.
* ShippingGoggles: As you know if you were ever in a large fandom with a lot of shippers, people have these.
* ShipToShipCombat: One of the more common causes of drama and FlameWar.
* ShirtlessScene: A lot of men go shirtless at some point or another. Often, in real life, more FanDisservice than fanservice unless you happen to like lots of hair and fat.
* ShoddyKnockoffProduct: All the knockoffs of real products. Mostly from Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, or China (never Japan or Korea). During the Cold War, they came from Eastern Europe.
* ShootTheBuilder: Common practice in NaziGermany, NorthKorea, and many other fascistic or otherwise restrictive regimes.
* ShortCutsMakeLongDelays: Oh, they DO. Especially if they contain things that can injure you or damage a vehicle or both, if the way is really obstructed and you have to turn back, if it places you somewhere your maps or GPS won't help you and you get lost...
* {{Shotacon}}: In real life, this is a crime called child sexual abuse.
* ShotgunWedding: They have existed, and sometimes still do, though the "shotgun" in more modern times tends to be social pressure.
* ShowingOffThePerilousPowerSource: Don't look directly at the sun, a solar eclipse, a nuclear explosion, or something being welded, and wear your ski goggles. A lesser degree of this with easy recovery (as an example of why you shouldn't) can be induced by staring at any light source (from a match to a lightbulb) for a few minutes. And don't stand too close to a steam engine that is discharging steam either!
* ShrinkingViolet: Shy people exist.
* ShutUpHannibal: A few have been delivered in real life. The example of Native Americans giving one to NaziGermany in the real life section is probably the best example. Namely, if you are conducting a racially based genocide, trying to get a population that was and was even at the time ''still being victimized by one'' to support you is ''not'' the best of ideas unless you want to be very angrily cut off at the pass.
* ShyBladder: It's called paruresis, and people have been fired because of it when they couldn't pee for a drug test. And yes, before you ask, there have been lawsuits.
* SiblingRivalry: It's very common for siblings to quarrel.
* SiblingSenioritySquabble: Common in royalty and feudal societies where being firstborn was often very important for inheritance reasons.
* SickbedSlaying: One of the most underreported and underinvestigated forms of murder when it takes place, along with other people who are easily written off to dying as a result of their lifestyle/other causes/suicide (the DisposableSexWorker, drug users, the homeless, TheMentallyDisturbed, prisoners...)
* SideEffectsInclude: A quite large amount of pharmaceutical advertising is like this, and you've likely seen one ad or more.
* SilkHidingSteel: Any society that places a premium on property has had women who do this. An example would be the wives and daughters of ship captains in 19th Century New England.
* SillyRabbitCynicismIsForLosers: This will be the kind of response people will use to reprove those who are negative and pessimistic about certain aspects of life.
* SillyReasonForWar: ''Quite'' a few feudal and medieval wars (and ancient wars) were for reasons that most people looking back today would finds silly or outright stupid and pointless.
* SingleBiomePlanet: Mars (desert), Jupiter (Cloud), Neptune (Cloud), the moons Europa and Enceladus (Ice) and Io (Volcano)
* SingleMomStripper: Usually due to economic reasons, those being that stripping is one of the few careers that doesn't require extensive experience, has somewhat flexible hours, and pays far more than welfare or child support in general.
* SignsOfDisrepair: As a look around Fail Blog and occasionally where you live can tell you.
* SinkOrSwimMentor: Live fire training and chemical weapons training for military members, as well as the Navy SEAL and the SERE courses for elite military members in the US. For firefighters, training inside a real burning building.
* SirSwearsALot: Fuck, a lot of fuckers do this way too fucking much.
* SkirtOverSlacks: Sometimes required for modesty, other times done because the person really doesn't want to expose themselves accidentally.
* SlaveMooks: Unfortunately so - conscription and drafting still happen in militaries throughout the world.
* SlapSlapKiss: Some abusive relationships and unhealthy relationships are like this.
* SleepsWithEveryoneButYou: Just because someone may sleep around, doesn't mean ''everyone'' is interesting or sexy to them.
* SlipperySoap: Why many people prefer shower gels or other options to bar soap.
* SlowTransformation: From infant to adult. Takes 17-18 to 20-21 years, depending on culture, region, and more.
* SlutShaming: Unfortunately, and became a trope because of its occurrence in reality.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Examples are too numerous and insulting to be listed, but we've all seen them.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: Chess is actually a fairly difficult game to learn how to play correctly unless you have some degree of intelligence.
* SmellySkunk: Skunks stink.
* SmiteMeOhMightySmiter: This is why many people are atheists.
* SmokingHotSex: Some smokers do tend to smoke after sex. If you're a smoker with external genitalia it's a good idea to wait until afterward - nicotine can cause impotence both in the short and long term because it causes constriction of blood flow.
* SmokingIsCool: To some, and that is part of why complete abolition of tobacco seems almost an impossible task despite the health benefits of cutting global smoking rates to zero. The ForbiddenFruit trope also ensures that ''too'' strong of efforts to portray it as uncool or to ban it entirely or make it illegal will unfortunately only make this trope stronger.
* SmolderingShoes: Explosions sometimes blow off shoes, and MoralGuardians and {{Squick}} usually ensure that the shoes with body parts still in them can't be shown in newscasts or in official news outlet images. Hence, cameramen and photographers look for images with the least gore as possible (or alternately, the most they can get past the radar, or both at the same time) and blown-off (or abandoned so someone could run faster) shoes match that standard.
* SmugSnake: AdolfHitler, HidekiTojo, and the BTK SerialKiller among others. Very common with psychopaths, who tend to be extremely self-confident and extremely lacking in common sense.
* SnipeHunt: A very common form of hazing or practical joke is to send someone on a search for something nonexistent.
* SnowMeansCold: It generally does. Averted by fake snow and trucked-in snow during spring or summer.
* SnowMeansDeath: Homeless people and others caught out on cold, snowy nights (especially if they are underdressed) are at risk of hypothermia and death from it, as are, depending on how cold the temperatures are, people in unheated dwellings.
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: Some people are treated with less respect or assumed to be hired based on appearance if their appearance is incredibly beautiful. Also, some beautiful people who ''aren't'' necessarily interested in dating other perfectly beautiful people (e.g. a {{twink}} that finds fat [[TheBear bears]] attractive) are often limited to them, either due to the disbelief less than perfect people would have at being approached by them or the social stigma that comes from "trading down" to a person viewed as less desirable than oneself.
* SolarPoweredMagnifyingGlass: Unfortunately, for our six-legged friends.
* SolidGoldPoop: Ambergris is whale vomit. It's also extremely valuable for use in perfumes. Guano. Not as valuable now as it used to be. For centuries, it was used to make saltpeter and phosphorous, which was used for explosives and gunpowder. Now, it's mostly used for fertilizer, and some of the world's ''best'' coffees owe their rich flavor to this particular fertilizer.
* SolveTheSoupCans: Standardized testing are claimed by some to be the real life version of this.
* SomebodyDoesntLoveRaymond: Narcissists tend to live off of this. Unfortunately, that view can make people who are justly concerned with the opinions of others seem narcissistic when they want to be not sure they are universally loved, but sure that they are not universally or offensive.
* SoulBrotha: A stereotype in media portrayals, but one ''embraced'' by some real black men (usually entertainers of various sorts), much like CampGay is embraced by some gay men.
* SorryOccifer: The reason why, if you are drunk or high, not talking to the police by stating your right to silence and need for a lawyer, and then ''shutting up'' (if you live somewhere where you have this right) is the best legal advice you can possibly ever follow. And you got it here free.
* {{Spammer}}: Unwanted commercial or promotional messages, fraud, harassment with multiple unwanted messages, ''[[IncrediblyLamePun ad nauseum]]'' happens to ''any'' new method of communication once people figure out how to do it - and then it becomes a LensmanArmsRace between people wanting to spread tons of crap and people wanting to stop it or not recieve it. It happened with mail (junk mail), phones (telemarketers, various con artists, crank calls), and then reached e-mail, instant messages, text messages, and any other source it possibly could. If someone ever were to develop a form of cybernetic telepathy, it would be highly likely that within weeks, people would be getting overloaded with telepathic spam. The aggressive commercialization and exploitation of ''any'' available means of communication in real life is, in fact, what made the trope.
* SpeakIllOfTheDead: Some people do this, either out of inability to drop old grudges, the desire to avoid someone being rewritten as something better and holier etc than they were, or out of new information being revealed as a result of the death or an investigation or the like afterward.
* SpikesOfDoom: Caltrops, which aren't in and of themselves that deadly but are used to blockade areas for air or infantry assault, so if you see them, you're likely not going to survive. Also, some people have made spike pit traps.
* TheSpiny: Sea urchins.
* SpitTake: Yes, people often do this in reaction to a shocking image or piece of information.
* SplitPersonalityMerge: One of the recommended forms of therapy for real life dissociative identity disorder - to integrate the personalities into one.
* SplitPersonalityTakeover: Invoked by some high-demand religious and other organizations and abusive situations: a person is forced to dissociate via abuse and/or MoreThanMindControl techniques, and they will become angrier, more judgemental, quicker to violent solutions, less capable of independent thought, and/or possibly even develop learned helplessness and timidity as well as or instead of those. The concept has a name of the "cult personality," though it isn't only so-called "cults" that can invoke it.
* SpockSpeak: Asperger's Syndrome and legalese (though usually not [[{{Flanderization}} to this degree]]). Justified in the legalese case, when the document has to be airtight. Still funny, though.
* SpoiledBrat: There are children like this. Some adults, too.
* SpoiledSweet: There are children and adults like this as well.
* SpontaneousHumanCombustion: HIGHLY debated whether the traditional variant actually happens or not (e.g. internal forces causing a human to burst into flame). More likely true is the "hidden flame" variant, with a small flame catching the fat of the body on fire and burning it quickly.
* SpotlightFallacy: A lot of people believe in it, which is why people are more afraid of terrorism than car accidents, or more afraid of nuclear accidents than of smoking cigarettes. Never mind you're far more likely to be killed by a distracted or drunk driver (which could even be yourself) than a terrorist, and far more likely to get cancer from smoking cigarettes or being around second-hand smoke than from Chernobyl and Fukushima ''combined'' unless you lived close to either.
* SpotlightStealingSquad: One of the biggest spotlight stealers ever is sauces and sugar. In cooking, dough is essentially the main character, but who cares about him? He's bland and tasteless on his own and his side characters of sauces and sugar are the reason why you're there in the first place.
* SpotOfTea: VERY true for many Brits and Japanese both.
* SpousalPrivilege: One of the subcategories of SecretKeeper above - spouses do not, generally, have to testify against their spouse unless they choose to do so.
* SpringtimeForHitler: Because the harder you ''try'' to fail, the less likely you are to truly fail.
* StageMom: See ICouldaBeenAContender.
* StagParty: Bachelor and bachelorette parties.
* StairsAreFaster: Sometimes, especially with six or under floors and a slow elevator/one that stops at each floor.
* StalkerWithACrush: Erotomanic stalking is one of the main types of stalking.
* StalkingMission: Detective work involves a lot of this for both police detectives and private detectives. Probably even more for the latter, because their cases involve more of the things where stakeouts/tracking/etcetera are valid investigative tools.
* StandingBetweenTheEnemies: Police officers and peacekeeping forces sometimes do this, either metaphorically or even literally in the few times they don't just shoot everyone. Conflict mediators and negotiators of various sorts also try to do this by talking both sides down. It's also the point of having a workable legal system - lawyers and judges and juries handle conflicts as intermediaries.
* StarCrossedLovers: "Things just didn't work out."
* StarfishAliens: It is most likely that if non-Earth based life ''is'' ever discovered, it will be this: anything from bacteria to bugs to other life that bears ''no'' resemblance to humanity, because evolutionary conditions on non-Earthlike planets are different, and the conditions of other planets (atmospheres unbreathable to humans, temperatures too hot or cold) demand extremophile creatures - which humans really are not. Even given a perfectly Earth-like planet, there is no reason evolution would ''have'' to develop human or humanoid or ape-like creatures instead of reptiles or dolphins or cockroaches.
* StarterMarriage: Some first marriages are this.
* StartOfDarkness: If you want to be really, really depressed, realize just ''how many'' of these are happening in abusive homes alone, every single day.
* StateSec: The NKVD/KGB and the Stasi on the left, the ''kempetai'' and Nazi informants on the right. Among many, many, MANY others.
* StatingTheSimpleSolution: Happens quite a lot in various environments (such as militaries and politics) where jargon and complicated plans tend to rule the day. People who do this often don't tend to last very long in such environments because they are seen as "too idealistic" or not playing the game properly.
* StatuesqueStunner: Most female models and supermodels are expected to be tall as well as very thin.
* StatusQuoIsGod: To some people in real life,
* StayInTheKitchen: Unfortunately, pretty much everywhere until the mid to late 20th century.
* StealthHiBye: It happens when you're distracted and don't notice when someone is entering or leaving the room.
* StepfordSmiler: There are entire cultural settings where this is ''a requirement,'' as anyone who's seen demands for "bubbly, cheerful" people will know.
* StepfordSuburbia: There are places like this in real life, but the more common are tourist locations, because they have to keep up good press far more than suburbs.
* SternTeacher: Many of them exist.
* StevenUlyssesPerhero: There have been and are people like this. One of the most famous was Thomas Crapper, co-inventor of the toilet.
* StickyFingers: Some thieves are like this - they steal for reasons other than major profit.
* StoneWall: A military tactic used if defenses are better than anything else. Also common in sports if the defense is better than the offense.
* StoneSoup: Taxes. Volunteering. There are many examples. The opposite of TooManyCooksSpoilTheSoup.
* StopHavingFunGuys: They exist in real life as well.
* StopHelpingMe: Backseat drivers and GPS often cause more problems for drivers. Some charity efforts that actually hurt or get in the way of helping. Autocorrect and autocomplete. And as of recently, people who like speaking for minority groups but often end up causing more trouble than help.
* StoryReset: Writers can and often will {{retcon}} just a few events rather than an entire story. In nonfictional media, corrections are this: correcting false or misleading information already published, in the hopes the correction will be read (or is at least there to be pointed out)
* StoutStrength: Incredibly strong men often look more rotund than body-building. Just watch the weightlifting portion of the Olympics. Or sumo wrestling.
* StrangerInAFamiliarLand: Step 1: Go abroad for work/study/etc. Step 2: Stay there a couple of years, if not months. Step 3: Go back home and try to fit back in.
* StrawFeminist: They exist in RealLife, but they do ''not'' represent all feminists.
* StrawmanHasAPoint: Yes, even people who are stereotypically "strawmen" can have legitimate points. For example, the StrawFeminist may consider pornography or the MaleGaze "rape" - but that doesn't make her opposition to ''actual'' rape any less invalid or more deserving of condemnation. Or the Straw Vegan might view owning animals as animal abuse but that does not make his/her arguments against circus elephants less meaningful.
* StrawNihilist: Often overlaps with EmoTeen.
* StrayingBaby: Babies crawl, or toddle, long before they learn any sense.
* StrongFamilyResemblance: Sometimes family members do look exactly alike. Obviously, twins and other multiples qualify.
* StudentAndMasterTeam: Sometimes people do train apprentices or new workers to replace them. Bands also provide some great examples of this: one of the ''fastest'' ways to improve your skill as a musician is to get into a band or be a roadie for a band where you are directly working with the person who is very, very skilled at your instrument or role if he or she is willing to teach you.
* StuffBlowingUp: If there's hypergolics around, almost anything they are accidentally on or in can become explosive, ''even the ground itself.'' A good example of this is the [[http://www.damninteresting.com/the-pepcon-disaster/ Pepcon Disaster]] where hypergolic rocket fuel managed to create a huge chain reaction of StuffBlowingUp.
* StuffedIntoALocker: Happened back when lockers could contain people.
* StuffyOldSongsAboutTheButtocks: They exist because the human posterior is, for a lot of people in a lot of cultures, a very sexual sight or image - and because as many people have discovered in various ways, the anorectal-perineal area has quite a lot of very sensitive nerve endings. Obviously, with the role the region has in human sexuality (even if it's denied) it will make its way into music about said sexuality.
* StupidScientist: Although in real life, the stupidity is often the result of working towards a predetermined result desired by a patron for fiscal or political reasons.
* StylisticSuck: People do this as a form of parody.
* StylishProtectionGear: Silk has properties that allow for diminished arrow penetration (there would still be ''non-lethal'' wounds). It was used by Mongol warriors and samurai. It's also fireproof.
* StraightGay: Contrary to historical portrayals, most gay people appear and act just like most straight people.
* StreetUrchin: One of the most serious social problems everywhere in the world.
* SubcultureOfTheWeek: News programs tend to do this very often, and they were the first to create the trope.
* SuccessionCrisis: Plenty of historical examples. There was even a whole war called "The War of Austrian Succession".
* SuckinessIsPainful: There are some musical notes, bad color/pattern combinations, and other things that literally can cause people to feel dizzy or nauseous or, in the case of sound, actual pain.
* SugarAndIcePersonality: There are people like this. Usually they are more guarded with strangers and more warm to people they know well, though the reverse is true sometimes in people with abusive families or with friends that would happily betray them - being more guarded with these "familiar" people and being more open with people who don't seem to be threatening.
* SuddenlyAlwaysKnewThat: Since not everyone always lets you know everything they know.
* SuicideAttack: Kamikaze and suicide bombers.
* SuicideByCop: Both intentional and accidental types exist, and happen almost every day.
* SuicideDare: Unfortunately very common for people to tell this to other people who are suffering.
* SuicideIsShameful: Many cultures have strongly stigmatized suicide, viewing it as an act of selfishness, cowardice, or, according to certain religious sects, a mortal sin against God. Not only is it harshly discouraged, but it is also illegalized, although the criminalization of it in western societies had declined.
* SuperFlyReflexes: Some people ''have'' swatted flies in midair. It's easier with moths and mosquitoes, though, as they're slower - most people can swat one of them in midair.
* SuperPersistentPredator: Humans with their persistence hunting during the majority of the stone age.
* SureLetsGoWithThat: You've said it and you know it.
* SurpriseCreepy: Life is full of this. Even things you didn't think were creepy once can later take on that tone (e.g. one of the neighbors who had the house every kid in the neighborhood hung out at was arrested, years later, for child sexual abuse)
* SurroundedByIdiots: Everyone who's ever had a day job can attest to this. Or been in [[strike:Public]] [[strike:High]] School.
* SurprisinglyGentleSong: Many many MANY bands and artists (even some of the hardest HardRock / HeavyMetal bands, and some of the most hardcore {{badass}} image rappers among others) will have one of these. It often tends to overlap with GriefSong or SillyLoveSongs.
* SurvivorGuilt: In all of its forms including "I survived this accident/disaster and my family/friend didn't," "We did the same things, why was I the lucky one to live?" and "Why wasn't I there to save him/why couldn't I have brought him here sooner?" one of the most common sources of grief and suffering in the world. One so bad that people ''have'' been DrivenToSuicide by it.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Sometimes used intentionally when someone wants to convey dominance ("Yeah I did it, and what are ''you'' going to do about it, worm?"), or unintentionally when someone reveals details or an act that wasn't even being discussed or mentioned.
* SweetPollyOliver: Joan of Arc, Mulan (the REAL one).
* SwissCheeseSecurity: Because not all people and not all buildings can afford the very best of security and maintaining the highest level of security practices is often unnecessarily paranoid and counterproductive for some industries. For example, in many lower end retail contexts such as groceries and big-box stores, it's far cheaper to have a certain level of shoplifting than it is to implement security so intense that it costs tons of money for guards and cameras and taking each case to court and the like, not to mention the angry ''non-shoplifter'' customers when they get patted down on leaving the store or followed everywhere in it.
* SycophanticServant: ''Many'' people acting like this can be found in many places, and not ''just'' serving bad people.
* SympatheticCriminal: No specific real life examples are allowed, but there are quite a few of them, both famous and just everyday people. The trope very much tends to be invoked in areas where the rich/poor divide is extreme, or the form of SelectiveEnforcement tends to excuse only [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney the rich.]] It's also a common reason for riots and the like in such cases - people who loot or destroy/vandalize symbols of the classes above them during a class/race type riot often see ''themselves'' as this, whether they are or not.
* SympatheticMurderer: Again, no specific real life examples, but some murderers ''have'' fallen into this. Generally, it tends to be people who for some reason or another were not aware of the gravity of their act (e.g. they were children or teens and didn't know better/didn't have the impulse control they later developed, they were manipulated by a high-demand organization or an abuser giving them orders, they were/are mentally ill) or who ''were'' aware of the gravity of their act but felt as if they had no other choice (e.g. abused spouses, borderline self-defense cases, law enforcement officers). It also tends to be very subjective: for example, police officers will see the police officer who killed in the line of duty as this, while others will just call it PoliceBrutality, and some people will see children who are murderers as needing help and treatment, while others will see them as proof that they are already beyond the MoralEventHorizon.
* TailSlap: Even horses can makes use of it to an extent. With elephants, it can be fatal.
* TakeAThirdOption: Because there is almost always one, including inaction itself, walking away from the situation, asking for advice, and so on - and sometimes taking the third option even if it doesn't seem workable or reasonable is the best idea.
* TakeOverTheWorld: Cliched now, but AdolfHitler did want to do this via ''Lebensraum,'' and [[ImperialJapan Emperor Hirohito and Hideki Tojo]] wanted to take over half of it via [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny "The Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere,"]] and technically, for much of the 20th century, the US and the Soviet Union actually accomplished it halfway for each. After the Soviet Union collapsed, the US actually did it for the most part (in a cultural and political and war-threatening sense) for a while - and part of one of the biggest debates in the world right now is if that was for good or ill, ''and'' if other nations gaining power again should be seen as a threat to the US... or simply as a legitimate balance of power that the world hasn't had.
* TakeThat: There are a LOT of these in real life, as insulting people is a common thing.
* TakeUpMySword: Has happened, especially in antiquity and feudal times when war was waged by families.
* TakingTheBullet: [[http://www.weremember.vt.edu/biographies/librescu.html Liviu Lebrescu]], the professor who blocked the door during the Virginia Tech shooting, and principal Dawn Hochsprung at the Sandy Hook massacre - among many, many others who intentionally got in the way of people trying to shoot others in order to stop them or delay them.
* TakingYouWithMe: Kamikaze from WorldWarII and some terrorists, among many, many other suicide attackers. Stalkers and domestic abusers also can and will engage in this - which is why they are so dangerous.
* TakeThisJobAndShoveIt: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JetBlue_Flight_1052 The JetBlue flight attendant incident]] is a very recent example.
* TalkingDownTheSuicidal: Something many of us are quite capable of doing, and in some cases have done. Suicide prevention isn't solely for the professionals - in fact, ''many'' more suicides have been prevented with a friend as the "first responder" rather than a therapist or especially a police officer, because people are more inclined to listen to and believe their friends even in bad states (or at least to not want to cause them pain), and because while therapists and police officers can force people to get treatment against their will, forced treatment often doesn't do anywhere near as good in the long term as truly voluntary seeking of help.
* TalkingInYourDreams: Relatively common, and more so if the sleep is induced by anesthetics/drugs. Which is why it's a good idea to make sure no one with recording devices around if you're in such a state, if possible.
* TalkingTheMonsterToDeath: Civil disobedience, diplomacy, hostage negotiation and other forms of negotiation, mediation, and other ways of resolving problems, even with violent or threatening people, somewhat nonviolently.
* TalkingYourWayOut: Negotiators and spies are trained to do this.
* TamponRun: If you've ever lived with a menstruating lady (or have been one yourself) you've likely had to go get pads or tampons.
* TangledFamilyTree: Anything from adoptions and affairs to incest or polygamy can cause this, as well as lack of information.
* TankGoodness: WorldWarII, the last war in which tanks actually were a decisive battle weapon. The Soviet military until the TheGreatPoliticsMessUp.
* TanksForNothing: Post TheNineties warfare, especially asymmetrical or guerilla or terrorist warfare - tanks are too big to maneuver in most urban areas, expensive consumers of scarce fuel, ineffective against suicidal attackers, and serve as big targets that can easily be compromised either by suicidal attackers on the ground or by air assault.
* TantrumThrowing: Angry or overworked parents and some children are prone to doing this.
* ATasteOfTheLash: Flogging was a commonly used punishment in many real-world cultures.
* TaughtByExperience: You know that your mistakes have left a mark on you, probably a scar.
* TautologicalTemplar: They exist, and it's often an argument for MyCountryRightOrWrong.
* TearsOfRemorse: People do grieve their own wrongs.
* TechnicalVirgin: It happens, ironically enough, often due to abstinence-only education.
* TeensAreMonsters: Some teens can be amoral and scary. Not all are, though.
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: Because proximity often does ''not'' mean friendship.
* TelevisuallyTransmittedDisease: Strangely, many of the miraculous recoveries you see in medical dramas actually have happened.
* ThanatosGambit: Suicide attackers, again. People who want to frame others as responsible for their deaths.
* ThankYourPrey: Happens in some cultures and religions.
* ThatPoorCar: Disasters will cause this.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: One of the most common passwords is... "password" or "password1" (since now most registrars require letters and numbers). The most common varies in length but is some form of ascending number sequence -- i.e., "12345."
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Teen suicide rates are much higher than they should be, but it's more because they don't WANT to see a therapist for fear of rejection. Also because since they think with their amygdalas, which is the emotional part of their brain, not the logical part.
** Bad experiences with therapy can lead people to ''never seek help again,'' even when it is urgently and severely needed. A bad therapist can be even worse than ''no'' therapist, for this reason.
* TheGlomp: Some people hug their friends like this.
* TheUglyGuysHotDaughter: There are quite a few.
* ThemeNaming: The Emperor Constantine's children. The Duggars' children all have names that start with J. Multiples (twins, triplets, etc) frequently get theme named. Retired heavyweight boxing champion/electric-grill pitchman George Foreman has named all of his children of both sexes "George".
* ThisIsNotADrill: Because of a phenomenon called "warning fatigue," sometimes it's very necessary to tell people that ''this'' alarm is for real and obeying it is important.
* ThoseTwoGuys: ThoseTwoGuys are in every high school, workplace, band... anywhere one doesn't remember people by name.
* TimeCapsule: More common in the past. Sometimes they last, other times they... don't. Or their contents are incomprehensible.
* TongueOnTheFlagpole: Yes, it does work. Check youtube if you don't believe it. Or, better yet, try it yourself! Be sure to carry some hot water with you, though.
* TooDumbToLive: Everyone has met them at some point. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG_Vbh8arNM Rad Girls.]] ({{NSFW}})
** The whole point behind the Darwin Awards website: [[http://www.darwinawards.com/ darwinawards.com]]
* TooManyCooksSpoilTheSoup: The opposite of StoneSoup.
* TooMuchInformation: Eventually, you will hear something or see something you wish you could erase from ever having been aware of.
* ToughLove: Parents often use this to their children or friends as a means to keep them on the right path to life.
* TheTourney: While it tends to stick to jousting, there were historical eras when that was the commonest form of fighting in tourneys.
* ToxicFriendInfluence: As many juvenile delinquents can attest to, and why people who are trying to stay abstinent from alcohol or drugs are often advised to no longer spend time with those who actively use the substance.
* TranslationPunctuation: English uses an exclamation point to represent sounds from other languages for which English has no equivalent. An example would be the clicks used in the Bushmen tongue.
* TransparentCloset: Sometimes those of who are LGBT are the last to know for real. Although it can also be that there has never really been a demand to put up a "real closet" in the first place.
* TrashOfTheTitans: As you can see in [[http://www.squalorsurvivors.com/ this site]], and any episode of ''Hoarders'' or ''Clean House'' or similar shows. It's called "hoarding" or "Collyer Brothers Syndrome."
* {{Trigger}}: Almost everyone has them in some form. Some far, far more distressing than others. See it's [[UsefulNotes/{{Trigger}} Useful Notes]] page for details.
* TriggerHappy: The reason a lot of shootings (whether by police or civilians) happen. Especially if one feels as if one is in mortal danger, it is an instinct borne of paranoia that can be ''very difficult'' to override.
* {{Troll}}: An undeniable [[TruthInTelevision Truth In New Media]]. If you spend any amount of time on the internet, you will see them, and you will likely interact with some even if it's just trying to banhammer them or keep them out - or you may be one yourself.
* TrueArtIsAngsty: Angst tends to make art be seen as "more serious." OscarBait is usually angsty.
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible: This is one of those annoying ones that reinforces itself.
* TruthInTelevision: Sometimes, tv does a good job of portraying reality.
* TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty: Street fighting, capoeira, and some forms of "no holds barred" fighting ''rely'' on dirty tricks.
** On the other hand, knowing and calling out dirty tricks in formal dueling/fighting styles with no tolerance for them often wins the fight for the person who called out the dirty trick.
* {{Tsundere}}: The most common type is cats, they pretend to not need you or care for you, but in actuality they do love you.
* TVTropesWillRuinYourLife: You ''will'' go on a wiki walk sooner or later. It ''will'' last longer than you expect.
** Chances are, you are on a WikiWalk RIGHT NOW.
* UglyGuyHotWife: Note: Being funny and unique will not get you chicks... until you turn 21. Money and influence also helps.
* UltimateJobSecurity: Having a relative at the company will make your coworkers hate you, but at least you'll never be fired.
** Tenure for education professionals is very close to this - it is ''very'' hard for a tenured educator to get fired.
** If your bank is "too big to fail" and you are "too big to jail," your work in the financial industry is this.
** Police unions are generally relatively strong. This means that firing police officers or demoting them aside from being KickedUpstairs is often ''highly'' difficult, even for officers caught in PoliceBrutality or in being absolutely useless or corrupt.
* TheUnapologetic: It's unfortunately common of some people to never apologize or even feel sorry for their misdeeds, either due to pride, guilt, embarrassment, or because they enjoy it.
* UndisclosedFunds: Swiss bank accounts. Also, talking about money was once viewed as crass, so people used these methods to do so.
* TheUnpronounceable: Indians working in call centers with American customers typically use adopted "American" names. It's also very common for immigrants to have an Americanized nickname, especially if they're from the Middle East or Asia. This is also associated with Eastern European consonant clusters, such as "Bydgoszcz." And good luck trying to say something if you don't know the pronunciation rules of the language.
* UpperClassTwit: Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and any socialite. Buddha was also one of such before leaving his castle.
* UnitedWeChant: Can happen often in sports arenas or anywhere many people gather; Barack Obama's US presidential run was littered with "yes we can!" and sports arenas often get "U!S!A!" or chant a player/team name.
* UnsportsmanlikeGloating: TD dances.
* UrbanSegregation: The Independencia Avenue in Guadalajara, Mexico divides the city in two: the West side is the rich side, home to all the trendy malls, while the East side is the poor side, filled with gritty factories and impoverished ghettos.
* UsedToBeMoreSocial: Some people who were mostly extroverted and sociable often become less so, especially if they're focusing on their own careers or are going through difficult times in their personal lives. This can be common with a group of friends asking the person why they haven't answered the phone for a couple of months or so.
* UsefulNotes: Useful ''because'' they're true.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: Stalin, Mao, Robespierre, Pol Pot...
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