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A PotHole uses 'hidden' links, phrases linked to pages whose actual titles may not appear in the text. TropesAreNotBad. This is okay when done correctly, allowing links to relevant articles without disrupting the narrative flow.

Sinkholes occur when potholing goes wrong, featuring links that are irrelevant, inappropriate, or both. In a wiki, it's better to pot hole words which ''represent'' the article they are linked to. Here are some bad sinkhole practices:

'''Misleading links:''' Consider Creator/MarkHamill, who both portrayed Luke Skywalker in ''Franchise/StarWars'' and voiced ComicBook/TheJoker in the {{DCAU}}.

In an example about ''Franchise/StarWars'', potholing Mark Hamill's name to ComicBook/TheJoker like this...

->In ''Franchise/StarWars'' [[ComicBook/TheJoker Mark Hamill]] is...

... creates a sinkhole -- the fact that he voiced ComicBook/TheJoker is completely irrelevant to his role in ''Franchise/StarWars''. More importantly, [[Creator/MarkHamill he has a page]], so potholing his name to another page is odd. The reader has to maneuver around the sinkhole to avoid being knocked off track. It adds nothing to the wiki except the likelihood of confusion, as Hamill's page already provides readers with a list of his other roles, and clearly specifies that he voiced The Joker in ''Batman: The Animated Series'' (and other works), while the sinkhole only implies he has some kind of relation to The Joker. Such sinkhole links should be changed to point to what the text is actually about or un-linked altogether.

'''Chained sinkholes:''' These are when pot holes are chained with sinkhole characteristics. There's only one sentence, but many pages linked to. Instead of proper structuring, careless editors divide the sentence to equal parts and link each part to the articles. That way we'll get a mess that turns nearly the entire sentence blue like this:

->And then Alice proceeded to [[MamaBear violently gut the]] [[BewareTheNiceOnes fish monster]] [[BloodIsTheNewBlack with a giant]] [[KnifeNut kitchen knife]].

The reader has no clue there are multiple links there. If they ''do'' discover all the links, it is a pain following all the links. Don't do this, please.

'''Covert opinions:''' Too many times sinkholes are used to bury a [[YMMV/HomePage YMMV]] in an example or description. These are bad. If you see one of these, remove the unnecessary links and/or restructure the necessary ones.

'''AllBlueEntry attempts:''' This is an attempt to create an AllBlueEntry under the pretense that it's witty or novel. This is not the case. Gratuitous sinkholes should be removed from such examples.

'''Linking a common phrase to a trope of the same name:''' For example, linking a statement that someone "got better" in some way, shape or form to the trope IGotBetter. That is part of why the trope was renamed to UnexplainedRecovery and why Administrivia/NoNewStockPhrases are allowed.

'''Changing the display text of a trope in a list:''' This is used to make a trope specific to a situation, e.g. changing SealedEvilInACan to [[SealedEvilInACan Frozen Evil in a Lake]]. However, doing this messes up alphabetization (does that example go under S or F?), makes it harder to find tropes, causes confusion over what the trope's actual name is, and encourages Administrivia/{{Zero Context Example}}s and SquarePegRoundTrope. Just list the trope under its normal title and then expand on it properly.

'''Trope potholes in page quotes:''' Quotes do not have potholes in their original medium, and extraneous bluelinks above the trope description just distract the reader. If potholes are not necessary to understand the quote, then they are redundant. If potholes give context that is needed to understand the quote, then the quote does not truly illustrate the trope. Page quotes thus should not have any trope potholes in them, although it is okay to pothole to a work or genre which is referenced directly.

'''Joke Fulfillment Links:''' Please consider that for tropers or readers who have been frequenting the wiki for even a few days, there is nothing remotely original or new about potholing understatements to {{Understatement}}, stealth puns to StealthPun, running gags to RunningGag, overused running gags to OverusedRunningGag, and so on. It has been done to death. It has become repetitive and predictable, and repetitiveness and predictability kill humour. In other words, don't require a link jump to make the joke work. It doesn't. Ever.

'''Hiding work names in work lists on trope pages''': This is when the actual name of a work can only be found buried beneath a character or location's name. This is both a misuse of potholes and a form of FanMyopia. Always clearly state the source, preferably at the start of an entry.

Check out Administrivia/WeblinksAreNotExamples for more on how to avoid using links irresponsibly.