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Just For Fun: Troper Types
Here we are, on the vast, bountiful plains of the TV Tropes wiki.
Herds of tropers graze serenely on the Savannah of New Edits, while somewhere further south, in the rainforest jungles of the Trope Repair Shop, the shrill vocalisations of their fellows echo through the trees as they try to reach a consensus on a rename.
This is a fragile ecosystem, each species supporting the lush landscape of the wiki in its own special way. Each variety of troper has evolved to fill a particular niche, just as the finches of the Galapagos islands did. Some tropers form alliances and strive to make their habitat a utopia of literary and pop cultural knowledge. Others meander placidly around the wiki, neither contributing nor doing any harm. And, as with any species, some varieties of troper just have to discover how annoying you can be before mods with big sticks kick you off the wiki
For further listings of species found across the oceans of the interweb, please peruse our Online Personas
This page is Just for Fun! Absolutely no flaming or naming of specific tropers!
If you want to 'fess up to being one of these, put it on your own page
The Main Branches of the Species
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The Main Contributors
The mainstay of this multi-faceted terrain, the main contributors create, nurture and trim back tropes. Most engage in elaborate social rituals known as "discussion" and "forum posting," although some quieter members of the group prefer to restrict these rituals to the YKTTW
- Troper Policeman:
- Habitat: Omnipresent, often the Recent Discussions list.
- Function: Making sure nobody kills one another. Mediates in disputes and/or puts their foot down to end them. May ban or discipline other types, and normally has an important, if not deciding, say in any discussions. Edits are fairly rare, and usually a result of discussion in the forums or the Trope Repair Shop. Seldom seen, rather rare, always nearby.
- Favourite Tropes: The ones that don't cause flame wars.
- Natural Enemies: The more negative troper types. This is invariably a one-sided battle, as Troperus Administerius and Troperus Mod sit securely at the top of the Wiki food chain.
- Trope Creator:
- Habitat: YKTTW and "Edit page"
- Function: Writing tropes. Spends a lot of time debating in YKTTW before toddling off to put their discussions into action via the Launch button. Generally not detail oriented, more interested in new ideas - their spelling and grammar may suffer for this cavalier approach. May "babysit" their own tropes, keeping an eye on them via their Watchlist, chasing off trolls and occasionally doing cleanup (though not on the same scale as an Editor). If they're in the Repair Shop, they're normally rewriting, discussing or defending their "own" tropes with/from a Repairman.
- Favourite tropes: Creator Tropes and their own "babies"
- Natural Enemies: The Cutlister. May occasionally butt heads with Repairmen. Should a Wiki Vandal or Troll appear on one of a Creator's tropes, they will attack with all the fury of a mother elephant defending her calf.
- Trope Editor:
- Habitat: "Edit Page"
- Function: The cleanup crew. Despising typos and bad information, they swoop in to correct bad grammar and factual inaccuracies. A large part of what makes Wiki Magic work, the Editor is detail-orientated and can spot a mistake from a mile away. When you look through a page history, you might not even notice an Editor's changes — but red text will vanish and spelling will appear to readjust itself.
- Trope Repairman:
- Habitat: Trope Repair Shop and "Edit Page"
- Function: They tidy up tropes, rename them and occasionally put the floundering ones out of their misery. Very detail-oriented and diligent, occasionally nitpicky, they do the legwork when a trope's name is changed, picking through the trope's Wicks to reflect the name change. Often involved elsewhere on the forum; they like discussion. Any tropes that they themselves create will normally spend a long time in YKTTW, to reduce the chance that their creations will end up in the repair shop.
- Favourite Tropes: Those that don't end up in the Trope Repair shop.
- The Art Museum Curator
- Habitat: Image Pickin threads, Image Links tab
- Function: To find the best images for a given page. They despise unclear images and are the commanding officers in the Just a Face and a Caption front of the War on Bad Troping. Captions are also their territory; making them witty if possible and clear at all times is a top priority for them.
- Favourite Tropes: Anything to do with imagery.
- Natural Enemies: Anyone who posts Just a Face and a Caption. Otherwise, none; this is a peaceable, herbivorous species that likes to co-operate with Creators and Editors.
- The Advertiser
- Habitat: Works pages, ideally obscurer ones and tropes of the sort found in the works they enjoy.
- Function: A relative of the Entry Pimp, these are fans of one or more obscure shows (which they may happen to be a fan of or may actively seek out) who endeavour to spread Pot Holes to its page wherever they can. Many are also Trope Creators (first spotting tropes that appear in their favorite work) or Browsers/Casual Example Adders (adding entries for their favorite work whenever they realise the trope turns up). If said work doesn't have a page, they're likely to take it through YKTTW to get some help with it.
- Favourite Tropes: Popular ones with few examples, where it's likely that their favorite work won't have an entry.
- The Trope-Fu Master
- Habitat: Lost and Found
- Function: Scouring the site like a ninja to answer the plaintive cry of "Do we have a trope where..?"
- Favourite Tropes: The ones with the cleverest, least intuitive names
- The Index Maker (subspecies of Trope Creator)
- Habitat: "Edit Page" and YKTTW.
- Function: finds related tropes to place into a new index.
- Favourite Tropes: index pages and supertropes.
- The Indexed Trope Adder (subspecies of Trope Editor)
- Habitat: "Edit Page".
- Function: adds new tropes to existing indices.
- Favourite Tropes: index pages.
- Wiki Feng Shui Master
- Habitat: Main wiki, sometimes strays into Darth Wiki and Sugar Wiki
- Function: A Trope Editor relation who prefers to focus on the visual apects of a page rather than its content. Moves images into auspicious (right aligned) position, adds folders, and generally attempts to improve the visual flow of a page.
- Favourite Tropes: Well-organized tropes with nicely broken up descriptions and right-aligned images.
- The Trailblazer
- Habitat: Nomadic, but frequents Lost and Found, Index Pages, Supertropes, Edit Page, and Pages Needing Wicks.
- Function: builds well marked and intuitive trails of wicks. Acts as the inverse of the advertiser, seeking isolated pages to connect to large hubs. Also repairs potholes, sinkholes, red links, and detours sending the reader to incorrect tropes.
- Favorite Tropes: Overlapping tropes, contrasting tropes, index and supertrope pages with many well-described outgoing wicks to route traffic through.
- Natural Enemies: Generally a peaceful nomadic explorer, seeking out obscure tropes to create new paths to and from. Occasionally conflicts with the Wiki Feng Shui Master due to a tendency to rearrange the bottom sections of articles and pave over harmonious arrangements of potholes in the interest of facilitating navigation. Namespacers occasionally disrupt the trailblazer's pathways by moving favored hub tropes from the main page into YMMV.
- Trope Browser:
- Habitat: Everywhere, really, except "Edit Page"
- Function: A writer is nothing without a reader, and this is the reader. They observe, stay out of arguments, peruse the Launch and New Edit list, and follow their favourite shows. Sometimes too shy to jump in feet-first, sometimes simply happy to access the database. They may have a Troper account; they may not. A freewheeling troper type, usually unnoticed by those writing on the Wiki...but the largest group of all.
- Favourite Tropes: Any and all, especially new ones.
- Natural Enemies: None. They move unseen among feuding Americanizers and Britishers, and just don't notice the massive turf war between Lumpers and Splitters.
Do not discount the importance of the migratory types; the wiki may not dominate their Favourites menu the way it does for the Main contributors, but a Migratory troper is often a Jack-of-All-Trades
, or a valuable support to other troper types. Normally, their interest in TV Tropes is a tangent to their main interest, be it comic books, anime or the most popular new television series.
- The Eclectic Troper
- Habitat: Migratory, and can appear anywhere
- Function: Moving around the wiki searching for interesting nuggets of information and weird titles makes them a mixture of all sorts. They do a bit of repair, an occasional bit of pimping, example tweaking; can remain inactive for periods before their interest is sparked once more. May give a casual browse to the forums and YKTTW to see if anything momentous is happening, but generally ignores the troper-politics that happens there. Their wanderings across the tropesphere, however, has given them a good working knowledge of most tropes, and they rarely get confused as to which is which, their primary interest is the trope description itself after all.
- Favourite Tropes: None. The "random" button is their best friend.
- The Casual Example Adder
- Habitat: Work and Trope Pages
- Function: Adds tropes to work page and examples to trope pages. While they play an vital role in making Wiki Magic work, they generally don't read the YKTTW page and TRS forum. They sometimes don't bother to read the trope descriptions clearly to make sure that they are picking the best trope for their examples, which can be a headache for the Trope Repairman, the Trope Editor and the more detail-oriented Trope Creator. However, more often than not, they pick the right tropes.
- Favourite Tropes: Whatever sparks their interest.
- The YKTTW Midwife
- Habitat: YKTTW
- Function: Scrolling and refreshing the YKTTW, looking for interesting examples of possible new tropes, helping to clean up, avoid confusion, add new examples, and provide better names. They have a symbiotic relationship with Trope Creators: the Creator values the Midwife's input, and the Midwife likes to see a well-launched trope. Midwives are a benevolent species who like to help.
- Favourite Tropes: The newest, most interestingest ones. Lives to say, "Wait, we seriously don't have this already?"
- Natural Enemies: The Spoilsport, who tries to destroy the new tropes that the Midwife likes to assist with.
- The Namespacer
- Habitat: Anywhere but the Main/
- Function: These guys like adding alternative name space entries to existing trope pages. They're very useful at moving subjective tropes to the YMMV tab and similar maintenance, but also enjoy adding their favorite moments to the crowning moment tabs. There's also some overlap with other troper types, since they'll probably maintain and contribute to the larger namespaces (like Playing With Wiki or Haiku Wiki) in the same way or make sure Headscratchers and Wild Mass Guessing pages don't get too out of hand.
- Favourite Tropes: Metatropes (all the better for use in the Playing With Wiki), Crowner tropes. Any trope without a Playing With Wiki entry.
- The Breaking News Editor
- Habitat: Trope pages for active works.
- Function: To be the first to update the page after a plot twist, the appearance of a new trope, and similar — frequently within minutes of its appearance.
- Favourite Tropes: Any which have achieved Troper Critical Mass (Girl Genius, Doctor Who, etc.)
- The Aspiring Writer
- Habitat: Real-ish section of the Forum
- Function: To plug their original stories and fanfiction whenever possible and assign tropes to their works.
- Favourite Tropes: Any that they find turning up in their stories.
- The Trope Truther
- Habitat: Any sufficiently "realistic" trope.
- Function: These guys love the Real Life examples section. If someone's invented something or done something that resembles a trope they'll make their case for declaring it Truth In Television. They may or may not miss Troper Tales.
- Favourite Tropes: Any that seem plausible enough to actually happen.
- The Fetish Troper
- Habitat: Sex Tropes, Fanservice Tropes, This Index Is Full Of Perverts
- Purpose: To seek out any and all examples of their fetish du jour, and Entry Pimp the ones they know about.
- Favourite Tropes: Whatever gets their motor revving.
- Natural Enemies: The easily squicked; certain types of Troper Activists.
The Single Issue Wonk Brigade
For the most part, these are subspecies of the Main Contributors, with one important difference: a Berserk Button
. While they usually exist harmoniously with the rest of the herd, the vaguest sniff of their chosen bugbear sends them on a rampage. They charge forward, sending hapless newbies flying and knocking aside Editors who were quietly minding their own business. May cause Troper Policemen some headaches, and they risk being banned should they prove more troublesome than helpful.
- Single-Issue Wonk (superspecies)
- Habitat: omnipresent.
- Function: removing or adding material to support their favourite issue.
- Favourite Tropes: anything to do with their issue.
- Natural Enemy: Trolls, other Single Issue Wonks with opposing issues.
- The Americanizer:
- Habitat: "Edit Page" of tropes written by someone who uses British English
- Function: Driven by a deep seated hatred of the letter "u", the firm belief that the goshdarned "s" is overrated, and a profound love for the letter "z" (pronounced "zee"), The Americanizer changes any British spelling to its American counterpart, regardless of the official etiquette of TV Tropes. They are detail oriented, but other tropers wonder who has that much time on their hands. Not So Different from their British Spelling counterpart, though they'd die before admitting it.
- Favorite tropes: Xtreme Kool Letterz, We All Live In America
- Natural Enemies: The Britishiser (see below). They will edit and re-edit each other's pages until someone smacks them both over the head with something.
- The Britishiser:
- Habitat: "Edit Page" of tropes written by someone who uses American English
- Function: Driven by their hatred of the letter "z" (pronounced "zed"), the belief that the letter "s" jolly well earned its place in the language, and a deep love for the letter "u", The Britishiser changes any American spelling to its British counterpart, regardless of the official etiquette of TV Tropes. They are detail oriented, but other tropers wonder who has that much time on their hands. Not So Different from their American Spelling counterpart, though they'd die before admitting it.
- Favourite Tropes: British English, Useful Notes On (insert home country here)
- Natural Enemies: The Americanizer (see above). They will edit and re-edit each other's pages until someone smacks them both over the head with something.
- The Rewriter:
- Habitat: Edit page of tropes they haven't created.
- Function: A Trope Editor Variant. Rewords a trope description entirely. This is usually because of poor writing, and in such instances, the Rewriter is a major boon to the wiki, capable of making sense of the most muddled descriptions. However, occasionally they reword a perfectly coherent trope or works page simply to put it into their own words without going through the Repair Shop. While largely harmless, they may stand on the toes of whoever created the trope, especially if they offer no explanation of the rewrite.
- Favourite Tropes: Generally the Works pages of their favourite shows / books.
- Natural Enemies: None, really, unless they encounter a particularly vigilant or sensitive Trope Creator, or a fellow Editor who was tweaking the page before the Rewriter wiped it and started again.
- Activist Troper (a.k.a Troper with an Agenda)
- Habitat: Any trope with any potential to get political
- Function: This troper is strongly eager to promote a cause. Whether it's Christianity, feminism, keeping politics out of TV Tropes or ensuring free ice cream for all, this troper will promote it in his or her editing if it is relevant to do so, and sometimes won't even reserve it for these occasions. They can be a highly positive contributor if they keep their heads and are respectful of other people's views, but the Activist Troper may have a negative impact if they start removing anything they don't agree with — or go on a Troper Filibuster right in the middle of a trope page.
- Favourite Tropes: Whatever tropes and works have anything to do with whatever issue they happen to support.
- Natural Enemy: Other Activist Tropers with opposing views
- The Patriot
- Habitat: Tropes connected to their country of origin, as well as Values Dissonance
- Purpose: Defending their territory. Patriots are often found pottering around in the Useful Notes section, ensuring that the information on their particular country stays up to date. Sensible versions gently correct stereotypes and conduct discussions on the forums; less sensible types charge into the middle of any trope that mildly criticises their country with flaming torch and pitchfork at the ready. Neither is fond of sweeping generalisations about their country of birth, but the former takes a more tolerant view and is therefore more productive. The latter natters incessantly, and can quickly descend into true Single-Issue Wonk, if not outright Troll.
- Natural Enemy: Er...each other. Sensible Patriots don't think their more...zealous counterparts are doing anyone any favours. Said zealous counterparts think that the calmer version is a sellout and lacks commitment.
- Favourite Tropes: Ones connected to issues of nationality. The calmer type even likes those that are less than complimentary about their country (for example, Eagleland, British Stuffiness, Germanic Depressives) since they can get a giggle out of the stereotype. Expect them to put a disclaimer at the bottom of the trope though, if said trope doesn't make it clear that this is not the case in reality.
- The Splitter
- Habitat: "Edit Page", Trope Repair Shop, and YKTTW.
- Function: finds subtropes to split away from a more general concept.
- Favourite Tropes: the most specific of subtropes.
- Natural Enemy: The Lumper.
- The Lumper
- Habitat: "Edit Page", Trope Repair Shop, and YKTTW.
- Function: finds related ideas to combine into a central theme.
- Favourite Tropes: the broadest of supertropes.
- Natural Enemy: The Splitter.
- Ultraconservative Troper
- Habitat: Tropes of Legend
- Function: This troper thinks TV Tropes was much better in the days of old, when everything was new and exciting, when trope names were bizarre and fantastic and no one screamed bloody murder when they saw a character trope namer or a "snowclone" (what a stupid derogatory term!). Ultraconservative tropers really miss everything that was cut from TV Tropes, including Troper Tales and "I Am Not Making This Up", but their nostalgia is mostly silent, as they do not desire to challenge the wiki administration. Some of these tropers emigrated to the Tropes Mirror Wiki, but not all: after all, there are still no IANMTU on Tropes Mirror! Has a lot in common with the Old Guard in the Forum Pecking Order, but with more discontent.
- Favourite Tropes: All Tropes of Legend and everything that no longer exists, such as I Am Not Making This Up, So Yeah, This Troper, etc.
- Natural Enemy: Trope Repairman
Just trying to help...and failing
There is no malice in these species
, they just tend to be a little...overenthusiastic. However, try telling that to the Editors and Repairmen left to sweep up the rubble. Not to worry - a quick read of the rules, familiarity with the wiki and a helping hand from one of the more helpful troper types
will quickly promote them to another category. Approach the Just Trying to Help
troper with kindness and assistance unless and until they prove contentious — they could become valuable Wiki allies, but too vicious a lambasting and they may become a Cynical or Destructive type instead.
- The Sinkhole Pimp
- Habitat: They're everywhere!
- Function: Turns every other word into a Pot Hole or a Sink Hole. Rarely bothers to check if they are using the trope correctly. The mortal enemy of the Trope Repairman.
- Favourite Tropes: Pothole Magnets and Stock Phrases.
- The Nit-Natterer
- Habitat: Anywhere
- Function: love to argue, live to argue. They will not correct an entry, they'll put in a sub-entry beginning with, "Actually,..." or "Only if..."
- Favourite Tropes: Poorly defined or poorly named ones.
- Troper Infected with Trope-Namer Syndrome
- Habitat: YKTTW and new trope pages
- Function: To name everything after this favorite character, book, film, anime, etc. These names are often obscure enough that even other fans will scratch their head. Other tropers see these Trope Namers, think it's OK to name things willy-nilly after their favorite things, and become infected with the syndrome, spreading the illness as they begin to make up "Trope Namers" as well.
- Favorite Tropes: Anything they named.
- The Huge Fan
- Habitat: Anything related to their fandom
- Function: This is a superspecies of Troper dedicated rabidly to their fandom. They may proudly have tattoos or even shout that they are in the fandom "for life". They came to TV Tropes to set the record straight and/or share as much as they can about their favorite thing. Unfortunately, such rabid devotion can breed unrest amongst the Fan Dumb as Huge Fans clash over little details any casual observer would not care about. With time and guidance many Huge Fans adjust to the climate of TV Tropes and become helpful tropers. Those who do not adapt generally move on to fandom-only wikis where they can be with like-minded editors. A few specimens, however, become very frustrated instead of adapting and become Destructive Types.
- Favorite Tropes: Anything related to their fandom, typically something very nerdy and possibly obscure.
- The Furry
- Habitat: YKTTW and any page that remotely mentions furries
- Function: A subspecies of Huge Fan, the furry is confused by the lack of furry related pages on TV Tropes. Due to basically every furry being an artist and/or writer and the rule of There Is no Such Thing as Notability they feel slighted and under-represented in this largely human oriented Wiki. Not knowing that Tropes Are Flexible, they may begin to make as many furry/animal specific pages as possible without regard for if other tropes/pages already cover them, sometimes without going to YKTTW first. Due to a mix of The Law of Fan Jackassery and Broken Base, furries can be some of the worst nitpickers of the Huge Fan species and they may readily fight anyone who tries to help them adjust, even if they are other already adjusted furries. Those who do not adjust typically move on to a furries only wiki like Wikifur or just go back to their favorite art site instead. Those who do adjust become indistinguishable from any of the Helpful Troper species.
- Favorite Tropes: Furry Fandom, Petting Zoo Person, Funny Animal, Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism....
- The Censor
- Habitat: Wherever filth is found
- Function: A subspecies of the Activist Troper, wants to clean up pages by removing smut, swears and anything else that offends them. May be a Bluenose Bowdlerizer. When done with care and consideration, its usually possible to keep the spirit of the page while removing the profanity. All too often though, editing is done without thought, or worst, by an automatic nanny-filter.
- Favorite Tropes: Tropes that used to be full of smut and dirty words that are now full of ***ing asterisks.
- Natural Enemies: The Fetish Troper, Trolls, Potty-mouths, Trope Police and Trope Repairmen who have to fix their messes
While nowhere near as chaotic or irritating as the Destructive groups, Cynical types
can be a headache to their fellow tropers. They may undermine the work of a Creator, make more
work for an editor, or just scare off the newcomers.
- The Cutlister
- Habitat Cutlist, vulnerable tropes with a low number of wicks.
- Function: Euthanisation. Unlike the Repairman, who prefers to fix tropes, the Cutlister lives to destroy them. This is not just any troper who realises a trope is useless (those are generally Repairmen) — the Cutlister seems to take a certain amount of joy in consigning tropes to the scrapheap, even totally legitimate ones. Vigilant Trope Creators and Repairmen can generally put an end to any trope-murder-sprees, but often just ending up suggested for the Cut List makes any trope an endangered species. The Cutlister is usually also a Single-Issue Wonk, and targets tropes that hit their Berserk Button. If unchecked, they can direct the culture of TV tropes, since they believe that by repeating "This Type Of Trope Is Bad!" long enough, people will start to agree. Thankfully, Cutlisters are rare, and easily spotted by Troper Police.
- Favourite Tropes: Hard to tell.
- Natural Enemy: Trope Creators. Creators and Cutlisters represent the alpha and omega of tropes, respectively.
- The Spoilsport (a.k.a The Saboteur)
- Habitat: YKTTW
- Function: Popping up in comments and informing the Trope Creator that their fledgling page is extremely similar to an existing trope that it, in actual fact, bears no resemblance to whatsoever. Not to be confused with people who know what they are talking about! Known by their trademark cry "We already have this!". Sometimes willing to spend days or even weeks arguing about it, often long after the trope has actually been launched.
- Favourite Tropes: Only those that are already in existence and well established
There's no getting around it — some species just ruin the habitat for everyone.
- Wiki Vandal
- Habitat: "Edit Page" and YKTTW.
- Function: removes useful content without clear reason, sometimes replacing it with nonsense.
- Favourite Tropes: They don't care. If they can edit it, it's fair game.
- Natural Enemy: Troper Policeman. They rarely survive long, but more always appear.
- Habitat: "Edit Page" and forums.
- Function: Posts questionable content intended to incite a Flame War. Will almost invariably drag other tropers down with them when the Troper Policemen come to break things up. Generally solitary carnivores, but some are known to hunt in packs. Avoid at all costs; this species enjoys torturing its prey.
- Favourite Tropes: N/A. They're here to harass the tropers, not the tropes themselves.
- Favorite Prey: the Single Issue Wonk.
- Natural Enemy: Troper Policeman. They rarely survive long, but more always appear.