All There in the Manual
Above: You see how epic and tragic the Save the Princess plot is.
Below: You probably pressed "Start" before this text even showed up.

"The name of this world is Nalthis, by the way. Mistborn takes place on a world called Scadrial, and Elantris on a world known as Sel. See the fun things you learn by reading annotations?"

Information not mentioned within the show and only found in other material related to the franchise. The difference between this and normal merchandising is that this information may be relevant to understanding the plot and thus making the audience wonder why the writers didn't put it in the show to begin with.

For example, many anime OVAs based on a manga begin In Medias Res and rarely explain themselves under the assumption an OVA (being an occasional test run for a series) will typically be watched by someone who has read the original manga.

Other information can be found in text novels, video games, radio dramas, and image songs, as the entire franchise is treated as a package. Though, if you don't have the money for all that, there's always TV Tropes and That Other Wiki. When done to extremes, Crack Is Cheaper.

Fairly common in anime and mostly unknown in American shows, although it seems to be steadily picking up speed with shows like Lost. However, it's very common in American comic books because of the assurance that the stereotypical fan is obsessive enough to collect supplemental material (see Ultimate Universe). This also applies to the elaborate backstories many video games of the 1980s provided in accompanying comic books or novellas.

If this material is necessary to progress in a video game or work on fanfiction, it becomes a Guide Dang It. If the manual contains information that the player isn't supposed to know until some playing is done, it's Spoiled by the Manual. All There in the Script is a subtrope of this, referring specifically to names. When it's all there in an In-Universe book, see Great Big Book of Everything.

A common response to people who complain about a movie not making sense or not utilising a seemingly easy solution to solve their problem is that they should have read the book. Whether or not this is fair varies, with some believing that a movie should stand on its own and others feeling that if you care enough to complain, you should care enough to read.

Compare Deleted Scene (where plot holes and such are explained in a scene that was cut for time or other reasons), Word of God (where information not given in the work is confirmed by the creator through word of mouth) and Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole (when apparent plot holes are actually contained in the source material). Not to be confused with Read the Freaking Manual, which refers to the oversight of not reading the manual despite it containing practical information.


  • The only way to know without a doubt who is who in The Last Supper is to look at Leonardo da Vinci's notes that specified which names of each individual in the painting. Sure, Jesus was easy to spot out, but it's harder to tell the androgynous figure next to Christ is John without Leonardo's confirmation.

Alternative Title(s): Its All There In The Manual, All In The Manual