->''"One of the things we tried to do with [Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus] was to try and do something that was so unpredictable that it had no shape and you could never say what the kind of humor was. And I think that the fact that 'Pythonesque' is now a word in the Oxford English Dictionary shows the extent to which we failed."''
-->-- '''Terry Jones''' at the US Comedy Arts Festival, 1998

You're sick of all of those ClicheStorm, {{Troperrific}}, and TropeOverdosed stories. It's getting on your nerves. Why doesn't anybody do anything ''original?'' Something new enough not to get the label of "trope" stamped on them? [[BlatantLies It's just a term used to]] [[UnusualEuphemism avoid having to say]] [[TWordEuphemism the C-word]][[note]][[IThoughtItMeant No, not]] ''[[CountryMatters that]]'' [[CountryMatters C-word]][[/note]], [[BlatantLies anyway!]]

Then you get an idea. You know what you're going to do! You're going to write one yourself! A [[TitleDrop Tropeless Tale]]! So you go on Wiki/TVTropes and [[ArchiveBinge start finding every trope that exists]] so that you won't use them, consciously or unwittingly. Work something out afterwards once you know what you're left with.

As you browse the site and learn about more and more tropes to steer clear of, you think about how not using them will restrict you from writing a story conventionally, and how you might work around it:

# You can't have a {{hero|Tropes}} or a {{villain|s}}. Not a deal-breaker so far, there have been works that did that.

But then it hits you: those two storytelling elements having been used by other stories means that they're [[DecoyProtagonist tropes of]] [[NoAntagonist their own]], so you can't ''not'' have a hero or villain. As you think about this, you continue gathering tropes and realize:

[numlist:2]
# You can't have an [[ActionHero Action Guy]] ''or'' a NonActionGuy, nor can you have [[ImprobablyFemaleCast only women]].
# [[AuthorAppeal You can't write about anything you like]]. That might be fixable, if you just write about what you hate--No, wait! [[PetPeeveTrope You can't do that, either]].
# You will not go [[PurpleProse overboard with your descriptions]], but you can't [[BeigeProse limit those descriptions, either]].
# You will not have a {{narrative|Tropes}} in your story. That means no {{Dialogue}}, no {{Conflict}}, no {{Characters}}, no {{Plot|s}}. Your story will be about the [[NoPlotNoProblem purely abstract]], maybe even nothingness. [[SceneryPorn Just a page or two describing the non-existent scenery]] that is [[IncrediblyLamePun uTropia]]. [[PurpleProse Or maybe just describing nothingness]]. [[SeinfeldianConversation Aww, nuts, that won't work either...]]
# You should avert all tropes, but you cannot use AvertedTrope, either. Sound like some sort of LogicBomb? [[MindScrew Well, you have to avert that now too]].[[note]][[OverlyLongGag And then you realize]] you have to avert MindScrew as well, [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment and]] OverlyLongGag, and [[ShapedLikeItself Department of Redundancy Department]] and...[[/note]]
[/numlist]

It's at this point that [[YourHeadASplode your head explodes]] [[GoMadFromTheRevelation from the sheer number of paradoxes]] that have arisen from trying to create a Tropeless Tale. [[WingedSoulFliesOffAtDeath Your spirit rises out of your body into]] [[FluffyCloudHeaven the clouds]], where JustForFun/TropeTan, goddess of tropes, is waiting for you. Incensed, you say to her, "Is this some kind of [[CosmicPlaything cosmic prank]] you're pulling? I'm sure there ''has'' to be a way to write a story without tropes!"

Trope-tan shakes her head and answers:

[numlist:7]
# "Even if you actually accomplish it somehow, despite all the other issues you encountered, even if you manage to create a story that is well and truly tropeless, what happens if other people decide they like your ideas enough to [[FollowTheLeader copy them in]] ''[[FollowTheLeader their]]'' [[FollowTheLeader stories]]? Then your tale would no longer be tropeless, but instead be the TropeMaker for an entirely new set of tropes, because that's what a {{trope}} is: a pattern of elements meant to convey meaning."
[/numlist]

You stare in silence for several seconds. [[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle Finally, Trope-tan asks you, "So what did you learn?"\\
And you reply, "I learned two things:]]

# "I can't write a story without tropes, and that's OK.
# [[SpaceWhaleAesop "Trying to write a story without tropes will make your head explode."]]

->''[TheEnd and roll credits]''
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Due to the ''impossibility'' of writing a story without tropes, it is generally not to be undertaken except as an artistic challenge, and attempting to not use tropes is not necessarily intelligent writing; instead, an easier end toward intelligent writing is to take old tropes and [[TropesAreTools use them in a new way]]. ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' is considered a masterpiece, even though nothing in it was new. It just used the old in a fascinating way. Creator/WilliamShakespeare lifted all of his plots from other works (except [[Theatre/TheTempest one]]). ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' is one of the most critically acclaimed fantasy series in modern fiction, and was [[{{Troperiffic}} deliberately filled with every trope, convention and cliché that the writer could think of]]. Also, let's not forget that the three highest grossing movies of all time, ''Film/TheForceAwakens'', ''Film/Titanic1997'' and ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' are riddled with tried and true formulas, familiar story structure and arc characterisations.

It's important to note that this page is not meant as a smug, pop-psychology attack on the stupidity and unoriginality of the human brain, but rather a testament to how many tropes authors and artists have created, including some pairs of tropes that are exact opposites and even some that necessarily occur whenever others don't. In contrast, the message here is that writing a tropeless tale is impossible because writers long ago have thought of so much, often in deliberate attempts to avoid using tropes. So don't take it personally. Heck, even stories purposefully written with as few words as possible can unintentionally spawn a myriad of tropes, such as Literature/HemingwaysSixWordStory, the three surviving lines of ''Theatre/TheProgeny'', and Literature/TheUglyBarnacle.

The closest thing to a Tropeless Tale is TV static from a channel you can tune to, but don't get -- in other words, a SnowyScreenOfDeath! ''Curses!'' YouAreTooLate!

Some works have come close to reaching this nebulous quality such as ''WesternAnimation/{{Allegretto}}'', ''Film/AfterLastSeason'', ''Film/{{Koyaanisqatsi}}'', ''Film/MyDinnerWithAndre'', ''The Man with the Movie Camera'', ''Film/RussianArk'', ''Film/{{Decasia}}'' and quite a few TrueArtIsIncomprehensible works, although all of these are arguable and subjective, and well... they tend to come up with tropes anyway. Also, ''Literature/FinnegansWake''. No, wait, that's a MindScrew... Arguably, the closest thing to it is the film ''Film/RoundhayGardenScene'' which is 2 seconds long and depicts no real action, but it's questionable if it can even be considered a "work". [[note]]Even so, aside from JustForFun/TheTropelessTale being a trope itself, its brevity inverts EpicMovie.[[/note]]

To put it another way, the Tropeless Tale is [[SelfDemonstrating/TheTropelessTale this]]. [[note]][[EmptyRoomPsych Oh wait.]][[/note]]

Or this: ∞ [[note]][[{{Infinite}} No, wait, this won't work either.]][[/note]]

See also SoYouWantTo.BeOriginal.
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!!Look, even this page uses tropes:

* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: The '''T'''ropeless '''T'''ale.
* AnAesop: You can't write a story without tropes, and that's OK.
* AwfulTruth: You will never be 100% original. Yes, it's sad, but you have to accept it and move on.
* BeigeProse: The only words in the Tropeless Tale are in the title.
* BreakThemByTalking: That's right, [[TakeThatAudience go ahead]]. Try and make a tropeless tale. It is impossible.
* {{Conflict}}: Averted, as the story has no conflict (unless you count the writer trying to make a Tropeless Tale as the conflict).
* EmptyRoomPsych: The lack of tropes is going to make people want to find meaning and content in the story anyway, even if there wasn't any content intended in the first place.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: It's a story without tropes (or at least, its ideal is to be one).
* FlashFiction: Taken UpToEleven. The Tropeless Tale is as short as you can possibly make a story, as it has ''no words at all'' (not counting the title).
* LawOfConservationOfDetail: Ideally, the aim of the Tropeless Tale is to have absolutely no content in it at all. But as the other tropes prove, even having the story be completely absent of even the most basic things a story needs, to the point where it has absolutely no words beyond the title, will spawn a myriad of tropes by itself.
* MindScrew: A story with no tropes spawns a list of tropes anyway. Try to wrap your head around that.
* {{Minimalism}}: Trying to make a story that uses absolutely no tropes at all is similar to the mindset of this, albeit taken to an [[UpToEleven insane and impossible extreme.]]
* MohsScaleOfViolenceHardness: A straight 0 on the scale.
* NamelessNarrative: The Tropeless Tale has absolutely no characters in it.
* NonIndicativeName: Despite being a story that attempts to use no tropes, it's attempt to completely avoid using them [[YouCantFightFate ends up spawning a list of tropes for it anyway.]]
* NoPlotNoProblem: The Tropeless Tale has no plot or narrative to speak of, but it does exist to make a point, ironically due to its utter ''lack'' of content.
* PoesLaw: Is this serious, or is it a challenge to all you writers out there with a bit of guts?
* RealityEnsues: Writers attempting to create a tropeless tale, even one where absolutely nothing exists or happens, will discover that even that kind of thinking spawns a type of context due to the thought process behind it and the real life audiences reaction to it, as well as other stories and tropes and the thought process behind them contrasting the utter lack of content in the attempt at a tropeless story. Art and creativity does not exist in a vacuum, and for a tropeless tale to even remotely be possible, there would have to be absolutely no existence at all--and even that could probably [[LogicBomb spawn tropes by itself.]]
* SecondPersonNarration: The Tropeless Tale narrating itself without the use of "I" or "me".
* SelfReferentialHumor: This is Wiki/TVTropes making fun of its troping ability.
* SchmuckBait: Both the link to the Self Demonstrating page and the challenge to write something tropeless seem appealing.
* ShaggyDogStory: In the end, you couldn't create a tropeless tale.
* ShowDontTell: The story proves the folly of trying a write a story with no tropes by showing that a story with no tropes has nothing in it at all, and yet still manages to spawn content, tropes, and a reaction to it, anyway.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Can go either way, depending on whether you interpret the impossibility of making a Tropeless Tale as a good thing or a bad thing.
* TropeMaker: Maybe, just maybe, you might come up with something that averts all existing tropes. Success? Nope, as the page quote shows, the best you can hope for is that you've created a new one.
* UnpleasableFanbase: Even if you manage to create a tropeless tale, someone will still find something in your work to bash and/or criticize.
* UnwinnableTrainingSimulation: The Tropeless Tale is the storytelling equivalent of this.
* WeDoTheImpossible: This is the aim of anyone trying to write a Tropeless Tale, as it absolutely ''is'' impossible.
* YouCantFightFate: Even if it would be possible to succeed any work created that way would act as a TropeMaker for new tropes. If you found a way around that, "tropeless tale" itself would become a trope. Worse yet, since you're reading this, it already is.
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: If you honestly think in the way portrayed by the Tropeless Tale, you're confusing "{{Trope}}" with "{{Cliche}}".

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-->...And that, folks, is the reason why we say TropesAreNotBad around here. Even the mere ''concept'' of a Tropeless Tale has {{trope}}s.
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