Discredited Trope

Socrates: Ya know, Calvin, that line has been used so many times now, it's not even mildly threatening anymore.
Andy: Yeah, it actually just took all the drama out. It's like having 555 for a phone number.

Tropes Are Tools, but some have aged better than others.

Over the course of time, a trope may be overused, misused, opposed, made obsolete, out of fashion, subverted on many notable occasions, or just end up being widely disliked. Eventually, a trope may reach the point where it becomes one which nobody should dare use seriously and only belongs in parody, satire, homage or pastiche. Often, if one of these is used straight, people will assume it's a Red Herring.

In some cases, a trope may be discredited due to changes in our knowledge of history or science. Use of the trope in fiction may change to reflect this. See the Time Marches On index.

Notes:
  1. Just because a trope is discredited does not necessarily mean it is not Truth in Television, or that it's necessarily a Forgotten Trope.
  2. This is not bad writing because the writing itself is bad, but because the writer doesn't know its audience. After all, Tropes Are Not Bad.
  3. Just because a trope is not Truth in Television does not necessarily mean it is discredited.
  4. Just because a trope is used a lot does not necessarily make it discredited. (Take a glance at Overdosed Tropes, many of which are still popular and thriving, if you need any further proof of this.)
  5. A trope can be considered discredited in some parts of the world, but not in others, due to differing intellectual and moral committments between cultures. For instance, Stay in the Kitchen is offensive to the sensibilities of modern Western liberals, but raises far fewer eyebrows in African and Asian countries, and some variant on such was widely-held throughout most of history even in the West.

Omnipresent Tropes are immune to being discredited, mostly because those tropes are too natural to the medium of storytelling to ever be considered tired cliches. Undead Horse Trope describes tropes that have been subverted and parodied dozens of times, but aren't quite discredited.

See also:
  • Cyclic Trope, which displays tropes that after a period of disuse become relevant again. Note that in most cases, later uses of said tropes tend to be more subdued and/or carrying some degree of self-awareness about the tropes' more outdated aspects.
  • Dead Horse Trope, where subversions or parodies outnumber straight use in recent works.
  • Evolving Trope: As mentioned above, many a discredited trope have regained use through transformations. In some cases, these tropes end up changing beyond recognition.
  • Forgotten Trope, which describes tropes that aren't used in recent works at all; they may have been considered Discredited Tropes years ago, or just fell from use for other reasons.

Compare Discredited Meme.


Examples and Tropes:

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     A-G 
  • A Day in Her Apron: These days, women are just as likely to go out and work as men are...not to mention the Unfortunate Implications towards both sexes: namely, that men are incompetent morons, and that women are "better suited" to housework and child-rearing by nature.
  • A Degree in Useless: So many young people have gone to college that job markets are saturated (and the needs of job markets change quickly). So no major is guaranteed meaningful work. This is being seen all across the board, not just in humanities fields.
  • The Aggressive Drug Dealer: This is not how the majority of drug dealers operate in Real Life - primarily because most who are not The Mentally Disturbed beyond common sense and reason or amped up on their own product want to do two things: make a profit and avoid arrests/investigation. Aggressive sales tactics aimed at kids would fail on both counts. Most Real Life dealers are well aware they are selling a highly illegal product and have some degree of discretion in doing so, and usually their customers are already sold on the product, since introductions usually happen between peers. The person most likely to give someone their first dose of a drug is not an aggressive "do it or else" dealer - it's a friend. This trope was much more plausible before the War on Drugs heated up in the '70s and (especially) the '80s, when (ironically) drug dealers were more discreet and police and the general public were not as savvy about them, sometimes believing that they peddled drugs for no other reason than that they were just plain evil.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The depiction of aliens as mindless beasts or imperialist bastards has generally fallen out of use in favor of more civilized beings who can discuss the finer points of philosophy and provide a convenient canvas for the writer to paint his or her message onto.
  • Alliterative Name: It's been taken to the point of parody. It still sometimes works though, especially in erotic media where Always V Sexy is a plus and it's a good way to invoke Marilyn Monroe. Some people in Generation Y view alliterative names as "porn star names" and do everything they can to avoid them.
  • All Jews Are Cheapskates: Considered an offensive anti-Semitic stereotype now, especially due to its usage in anti-Semitic propaganda.
  • All Just a Dream: Too often abused as a Deus ex Machina / Stock Epileptic Tree.
  • All Gays Are Pedophiles: Formerly a widespread stereotype — and a major reason homosexuality has been demonized for so long — NO ONE with any credibility believes this anymore, to say nothing of the homophobic overtones.
  • All Women Are Doms, All Men Are Subs: Fifty Shades of Grey famously portrays a BDSM relationship between a Dominant man and a submissive woman. Considering Fifty Shades is now probably the most well-known fictional portrayal of BDSM ever, it's safe to say that no one takes this trope seriously anymore.
  • All Women Are Prudes: Since sexual attitudes have become more relaxed, nobody plays this straight.
  • Appointment Television: In this day and age of DVRs, TiVo, On Demand, web-based streaming services like Netflix, or buying whole seasons on DVD or Blu-ray, people can watch their favorite TV shows pretty much any time they want to. They are no longer at the mercy of the networks' schedules, and missing an episode is no longer The End of the World as We Know It. (Incidentally, this has also done away with networks euphemistically dubbing repeats "Another chance to see".)
  • Anal Probing: Still survives in some comedic settings or jokes, but the concept of The Grays or Little Green Men or other space aliens engaging in this has become so discredited that the only way to use it is parody or a subversion. It also has the Fridge Horror of being a rape joke, unless you are using the subversion of someone actively seeking it.
  • Authentication by Newspaper: Has become discredited nowadays with the power of Photoshop and computers.
  • Award Bait Song: Has been slowly vanishing since its peak in The '90s. Revised rules in the Academy Awards have also ensured that they're no longer award bait.
  • Axes at School: Only in Western Animation aimed at children, due to relatively recent, highly publicized school shootings like Columbine and Sandy Hook making it a taboo subject for children in the eyes of parents.
  • Barbaric Bully: Heightened school security in the post-Columbine era means that beating a kid up in a crowded school hallway usually comes with consequences. Not to mention that the advent of cyberbullying and the recent rash of bully-related suicides proves that a good deal of bullying is psychological rather than physical (and that psychological bullying can be just as harmful as physical bullying). It is not discredited in British works due to Values Dissonance, and the fact that British society sees physical bullying as a major topical issue (if not as much as cyberbullying).
  • Basement-Dweller: The economic hard times of the late 2000s and the early 2010s, and multiple factors such as high home prices, low wages, and dearth of open jobs in many countries, have left a steadily increasing amount of young adults with little choice but to live with their parents. In addition, there are also countries and cultures where it's normal (even expected) for young adults (women in particular) to live with their parents until marriage, and sometimes even beyond.
  • Bewitched Amphibians: Currently, this has become a partially discredited and when faced with the stereotype, magic-users are more likely to irritably explain that turning people into frogs is impractical with so many other spells at hand. However, they're still quite likely to do it if it becomes convenient.
  • The Bermuda Triangle: No matter what anyone wants to say about Real Life ships and planes that have disappeared in the region, aliens, Cthulhu, dimensional portals, Atlantis, etc. are NOT behind any of it. The incidence of Real Life disappearances in the area is no higher than any other part of the ocean that has similar size, weather, and maritime traffic. Indeed, for the amount of traffic in the area, it's one of the safest waterways in the world. (possibly the safest if you go by 2014 measurements)
  • Beautiful All Along: Dead in the water nowadays, but still used on rare occasions.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: A hopelessly outdated cliche of a ghost appearance that is very difficult to play straight now.
  • Big "NO!": Considered a source of Narm and camp instead of drama nowadays, but a good actor can sometimes pull it off. The same applies to Big "WHY?!".
  • Black Dude Dies First: It's been so relentlessly mocked and lampshaded that it's almost impossible for viewers to take such deaths seriously anymore. If it does happen, it will be a random, no-name extra who just happened to be black, while the named characters will usually have Plot Armor until later in the story. It's also got traits of Forgotten Trope, as the specific reasons why this trope arose (explained on it's page) have steadily disappeared due to Society Marches On.
  • "Blackmail" is Such an Ugly Word: The line is virtually stock dialogue now; as a trope it is at the very least discredited, since it's only used for laughs (or period flavor) these days.
  • Black Helicopter: Drones have made them obsolete and are more believable.
  • Blowing Smoke Rings: Given smoking's well-known health risks, it is.
  • Bondage Is Bad: While conservative and religious elements are still fighting a rearguard action, more than half of gen-Xers and the vast majority of millennials have either participated in these sort of activities or feel that as long as it involves consenting adults it's nobody else's business. Whatever the merits of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise may or may not benote , alternative sexual practices are now widely known and accepted by the general public.
  • Book Burning: Made obsolete as of the 1990s-2000s with the advent of multiple methods of duplicating and spreading information electronically. Forced deletion of information, conspiracies to limit its release, slandering those who release information and questioning their motives/veracity with Astro Turf, banning by region, arrests and threats to those who release information, and other methods of censorship and suppression are far more common (and even those have limited success).
  • Bold Inflation: In comic books. In the past, the editor will indicate to the letterer that he wants certain random words bolded, on the assumption that a reader will become bored by plain black text without any change to spice it up, but this has faded away.
  • Bouncer: The classic image of the trope, a large, overweight meathead is steadily becoming this as more and more places are hiring women and average-sized men, as the former can deal with drunk and aggressive women far more easily and with far fewer opportunities for lawsuits, while the latter group helps foster a friendlier, less hostile atmosphere, as well as being far less likely to attract the attention of aggressive men intent on proving their machismo. Bouncers who do fit the "violent scumbag" stereotype will quickly find themselves unable to find employment at well-managed or upstanding establishments, as owners and heads of security from other establishments do talk, and if word gets around that you're a bad hire who causes many a headache for your employers, "you'll never work in this town again" may very well become the reality for you if there aren't any places that are so dysfunctional, seedy, or otherwise undesirable to work for that they'll hire you just because they keep hemorrhaging staff.
  • Bowdlerize: The ability to release the uncensored version of almost anything via the internet/via DVD deleted scenes/via other means has made serious attempts to do this (outside of children's media and very religious/conservative locales) almost laughable, as everyone who wants to can easily find the "real" version. Ironically, now it's most commonly used for its original purpose; making "all ages" edits of content that can be made publically-available or shown on a theater screen or YouTube, while anyone who wants the real thing can just go online.
  • Brain Fever: A Forgotten Trope, of an "illness" that existed before better understanding of the human brain and better imaging of the human brain. There are infections of the brain (encephalitis, meningitis, rabies), and there are psychological and physiological conditions (post-traumatic stress disorder, catatonic states, panic attacks) but all have different causes, different symptoms, and far different outcomes.
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: Due to the rather blatant character attributes the headgear usually implies and orthodontic technology having improved significantly since the nineties, this is now more or less dead- possibly also due to the fact that so many kids spend at least some of their adolescence wearing some kind of brace these days. It's rare to see such headgear now except for the sake of a one-off gag.
  • Brains: Evil; Brawn: Good: Intellectual characters are no longer portrayed as antagonistic (and much less as out-and-out evil) in modern works, while brute force is less regarded as a positive aspect.
  • Brainwashed: Is Truth in Television and does happen on a quite regular basis, but many means of doing so in fiction have been very discredited (hypnosis, drugs/a drug as sole means). Realistic portrayals focus on More Than Mind Control, torture and other forms of abuse, Stockholm Syndrome, and the Dirty Social Tricks, as that is how actual brainwashing is accomplished. However, it is still used in some plots concerning Church of Happyology. Still perfectly valid if accomplished through magic in a universe where magic explicitly exists.
  • Breaking and Bloodsucking: While a hallmark of the Classical Movie Vampire, it's fallen out of favor in modern times, as vampires are now far too hip and sexy to waste time skulking outside windows.
  • British Royal Guards: Never used for anything other than comedic effect, but nowadays the once common gags involving a guard's effort to remain still under immense pressure have been replaced with ones where voluntary movement on the guard's part is observed, side-stepping more commonplace expectations.
  • Broken Record: Due to the advent of CDs, MP3s, and the like, which have largely supplanted actual records, this is now something of a dead metaphor.
  • But Liquor Is Quicker: Usually parodied nowadays, and is quickly entering Dead Horse Trope territory due to increased awareness of date rape.
  • Bury Your Gays: Due to the bloodbath of queer characters in the 2015-2016 televison season (particularity Lexa on The 100) has led to a significant number of LBGT (and ally) fans to call on writers to reject any future usage of this trope.
  • But Not Too White: Becoming increasingly less common in visual media, thanks to tanned skin no longer being the de facto beauty standard that it once was, being overtaken by heavy make-up between women. Many new sex symbols in The New Tens, like Robert Pattinson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zooey Deschanel and Christina Hendricks, have been fair-skinned celebrities.
  • The Calls Are Coming from Inside the House: Based on a myth about analog land lines (see the trope page), plus it's not that scary or unusual anymore with the omnipresence of cell phones.
  • Captured by Cannibals: Because of its racist implications, the trope has been completely abandoned.
  • Career Versus Family: Working moms are quite common, especially as the cost of raising children to adulthood increases.
  • Career Versus Man: It is entirely possible to have both; these days, a woman is not expected to give up her career when she gets married.
  • Cat Scare: Moving towards becoming this, but its shows up done straight time and time again.
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: On its way to being this as it now seen as part of the "once common but no longer generally required" subtrope of Hollywood Dress Code, since many real Catholic schools have changed their uniforms to unisex khakis and polo shirts, especially as more schools realize that what looks pure and innocent on a 9 year old takes on a different context (whether intentional or not is irrelevant) when worn by a 17 year old after the "summer growth spurt."
  • Catch Your Death of Cold: Better understanding of viruses, the human immune system and disease vectors have largely overcome this old wives tale in Western media, though it's still alive and well in Japanese and possibly other East Asian media.
  • Cement Shoes: It's much more efficient (from both a filming and story perspective, not to mention economical) to have the crooks just shoot the guy or bash his head in and go on their way. The victim being suddenly shot also has more shock value.
  • Chained to a Railway: Was possibly considered a banal cliche as early as the early 1900s—by the time this was first done in film for 1913 comedy Barney Oldfield's Race for a Life, it was already a subject for parody. The only reason people even remember the trope is because how often it was parodied in the first place.
  • Charity Motivation Song: On its way to becoming this. While it was a popular trope in the 80's, it became ripe for parody almost as soon as it became popular, and its become much more difficult to use seriously as a result.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: The 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris (mainly the November 13th ones, although the Charlie Hebdo attack in January had an effect too) have made this too offensive for most works, though it was already on the way out due to being increasingly outdated (France has one of the biggest modern militaries, so one could hardly call the country cowardly anymore).
  • Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs: Modern children's cereals are made with much more of an eye towards nutrition, thanks to backlash regarding marketing junk food to kids during the late 90s and early 00s.
  • The Chosen One: Has largely fallen out of favor due to how overused and cliche it is.
  • Christmas Cake: Along with its Western variant, the Old Maid, it's not quite gone from consciousness, but it is on its way out, thanks to changing attitudes about the role of women in society, and increased education for girls.
  • Chucking Chalk: A discredited trope in Real Life, at least in Western education systems. A teacher throwing things at his pupils is likely to find himself out of a job in short order.
  • Circumcision Angst: This trope has been in decline in recent years, likely as American circumcision rates are also in decline. If anything, an inverse trope is starting to appear, where men from cultures that do circumcise suddenly find themselves in cultures that don't, and receive the requisite stares from their peers.
  • Code Name: Has started going out of fashion, as evidenced by the fact that Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames, but its still remains popular in Spy Fiction.
  • Collision Damage: Considered an outdated video game cliche, with many modern platforms discarding it.
  • Commercial Break Cliffhanger: Considered an overused and tired cliche in the live action game and reality show genres.
  • Comically Cross-Eyed: In Real Life, strabismus is a serious condition, and therefore poking fun at cross-eyed people is no longer considered politically correct nowadays. It only survives in the occasional cartoon and comic strip.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: While rolling 24-hour news makes this plausible for major events it's generally seen as lazy plotting.
  • Coin-on-a-String Trick: This hasn't worked on any machine that accepts coins since the 1980s. Modern vending machines and arcade games come with either devices that cut strings or one-way ratchets, both of which are designed to prevent this very thing from happening.
  • Computer Equals Monitor: While all in one PCs and Macs do exist, it's generally considered silly to treat the computer monitor and the computer itself as one and the same in contemporary works.
  • Consummation Counterfeit: It is now known that many women don't bleed during Their First Time. Also, virginity is not, at least in most of Western society, seen as a prerequisite for marriage. Still alive and well in places where the truth about the hymen is not known and/or where a high value is placed on a bride's virginity.
  • Credit Card Plot: Pretty much discredited for adult characters unless they're idiots; much more common with teenage and pre-teen characters. In general, the trope is that the credit card is given for emergencies only, only for one of the characters to regard a closeout sale at the mall as an emergency.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: With much wider awareness and acceptance of trans issues amongst audiences, playing this trope straight is likely to get the creator of the work lambasted to all hell for their lack of sensitivity and understanding about this activity.
  • Cure Your Gays: Now that it's understood that "conversion therapy" and other attempts to "cure" non-heterosexual orientations are at best worthless and useless and fraudulent and at worst dangerous to life and health, playing this straight is seen as backward and offensive. Doesn't stop some religious groups from continuing to try it, though.
  • Cut-and-Paste Note: In modern fiction, due to the prevalence of more convenient and harder to trace forms of anonymous communication. If used in any sort of forensic drama, you can bet the CSIs will admonish the culprit as an amateur and get damning evidence off the note.
  • Cut Phone Lines: Largely discredited in any story set after the widespread adoption of cell/mobile phones and VoIP. Has largely been replaced by Cell Phones Are Useless in modern works.
  • Cute Sports Club Manager: Discredited in western works, but not elsewhere.
  • Dark Age of Supernames: Nobody takes them seriously anymore, so any use of those names comes of as laughable instead of cool.
  • Darkest Africa: In many modern stories, quite a bit of finagling or handwaving is required to get the "traditional" level of isolation, bringing it into discredited trope territory.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: A cardboard stereotype, clear-cut villain used in vaudeville and stage melodramas note  that got so ridiculously overused, that it became impossible to take seriously, and thus became extremely ripe for parody in cartoons. As such, this trope has almost never been played straight since, and when it does occasionally pop up, it's used as fodder for a quick villain gag or for sheer camp value (e.g. Dick Dastardly from Wacky Races, Snidely Whiplash from Dudley Do-Right, Oil Can Harry from Mighty Mouse)—in fact, the reason people even remember this trope is often because of how often the cliche has been parodied.
  • Dead Pet Sketch: Except in parodies, and even then, not taken seriously.
  • Declarative Finger: Often used by the authors to imply that the character doing so is just trying to come across as profound, which in turn is used to imply that the character is actually saying something NON-profound.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Like the All Gays Are Pedophiles trope listed above, suggesting that someone is prone to sociopathy due to their sexual preferences looks very dubious to modern audiences. These days it's more likely to be Played for Laughs by using the Anything That Moves trope but even that is falling out of favour due to the implications that bisexuals are lust crazed idiots with no self control.
  • Dish Dash: There's a discredited variation of it—when someone is showing off their skills at keeping dishes balanced atop spinning sticks. It used to be popular in Variety Show TV, this is rarely seen in modern TV (anything after the 1970s).
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: Despite still lingering today, companies have ultimately realized that the war against piracy is a lost cause, and have taken incentive to work around it instead. More recently they have been pushing a new bill (s.978, Protect IP, SOPA) to put an end to piracy forever, although all attempts so far have failed. Although in the United Kingdom, the Digital Economy Bill keeps this as an Undead Horse Trope due to Values Dissonance.
  • Dinner with the Boss: Discredited around The '70s to The '80s in the United States and the UK. Most if not all work-related/work networking parties/meetings/similar, anywhere in the world, are at restaurants, bars, or other public event locations, or held at the house of the boss/senior staff rather than rank-and-file employees. In Europe and Japan (as well as Latin America and most of Asia) this was how things were all along for the most part.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: Due to several Truth in Television incidents that led to Ripped from the Headlines, most countries, after around The '90s, created ways of at least removing severely criminal or dangerous diplomatic staff.
  • Dirty Communists: After the end of the Cold War, caricaturing and exaggerating the evils of or portraying the Soviet Union as doing their actions For the Evulz, instead of expediency or misguided idealism, fell to the wayside.
  • Dirty Foreigner: Seen as xenophobic now, and is most often used today in subversion, as a quick and easy way to tell that a character has a prejudice against another group, and that character is usually painted in a negative light.
  • Disaster Movies involving airplanes - since Airplane! came out, no-one could possibly take one seriously. Unless it was based on a true story. One contemporary airplane disaster movie tried to play itself straight for the first part of its production process - then someone realized there were snakes on the plane...
  • Diseased Name: There was once a whole genre of jokes/Urban Legends wherein a Funny Foreigner, hillbilly or black person would punch above their presumed intellectual weight and give their child a name like Eczema. For many obvious reasons, this would never fly in contemporary society.
  • Divorce Assets Conflict: Still occasionally happens, but with most couples (especially those where large amounts of wealth are involved on one or both sides) having legally binding prenuptial agreements, far less likely to happen in Real Life post The '90s, and therefore much less realistic without some explanation as to why there was no prenup.
  • Divorce Requires Death: In Western society, at least, it doesn't.
  • Does This Make Me Look Fat?:
    • You see this every day, so it's not really a plot device.
    • There's also the common variant of the trope, "Does this make my butt look big?". Because of evolving beauty standards in the 21st century, the implication that a woman has a big butt is a lot less likely to be considered an insult than it once was.
  • Dramatic Pause: The Sting variation of it is no longer taken seriously, although subtle variations can still be effective.
  • Dramatic Slip: It can happen, but this is nowhere near as prevalent in real life as it is in media. It's also largely seen as a cheap way to introduce a plot point or create drama.
  • Dr. Feelgood: They still exist, but are far more discreet because, due to legal crackdowns and the like, blatant and open ones often find themselves arrested, stripped of medical licensing, sued, or all of the above.
  • Driver of a Black Cab: This is heading for discredited status in modern times, as London has one of the highest ratios of ethnic minorities to white people in the whole country and it's much easier to be prejudiced against an abstract concept than against people you've actually met.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: You won't find this in any modern bar or tavern. It's against modern ABC laws.
  • Drunken Montage: Except when it's Played for Laughs.
  • Dumb Dinos: This trope is generally associated with older works and is becoming increasingly rare after the Dinosaur Renaissance revamped the popular image of dinosaurs, but it does still occasionally pop up every now and again. These days, however, it's far more likely to be Played for Laughs as opposed to serious fiction.
  • Dumb and Drummer: With quite a few very intellectual drummers existing in Real Life, the rise of Drum And Bass, dubstep, and some very technically complex forms of Heavy Metal, all of which require musical skill and competency and some degree of intelligence - alongside the trope becoming a Discredited Meme to some degree from simple overuse - it's become a cliche. Subverting it with having the stupidity be Obfuscating Stupidity or temporary due to Alcohol-Induced Idiocy or a manic episode or the like is far more believable, especially if the band you're depicting is supposed to be expert-level musicians.
  • Dying Dream: Too often abused as a Deus ex Machina or Sudden Downer Ending.
  • Earth All Along: The "Shaggy God Story" variant of this (where the end of a story turns out to be a variant, science fiction or otherwise, of the beginning of Genesis from the Bible, complete with Adam and Eve or identical characters) became such an overused cliche in science fiction stories as early as the 1960's, that it became impossible to take it seriously.
  • Elvis Lives: As of 2015, Elvis would be eighty years old. If he's not dead, it's likely he will be soon. You're more likely to see this used straight with someone more recently deceased like Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur or Stevie Ray Vaughan among many others.
  • Escort Mission: Originally a stock video game challenge, they've all but disappeared in the 2010's and onwards, thanks to creators realizing that players find them infuriating rather than fun. Generally the only way you'll see something like this in a game post-2010 is in more experimental/narrative-based games, where the focus is less on challenging the player and more on making the player care about the character being escorted (see The Last of Us or The Walking Dead).
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: This is slowly becoming a Discredited Trope for four reasons: It's becoming increasingly easy and reliable to remove tattoos or come up with cover-up designs, Tattoos are considerably more mainstream than they were in the past, leading people to become savvy and avoid this trope, large tattoos are expensive and require multiple sessions to complete; and no self-respecting tattoo parlor will serve anyone who is clearly under the influence of drugs or alcoholnote , or teenagers without a parent present.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: Older video games often employed flashing screen effects because color-cycling demands so little processing power; since advances in graphics technology have discredited this excuse, toning down flashing lights or patterns that could trigger seizures has become one of the few alterations routinely made to classic games in official emulated rereleases such as on the Virtual Console.
  • Ermine Cape Effect: With royalty becoming less distant these days, this is largely becoming discredited, save for nations that still have absolute monarchies.
  • Essex Girl: We are in the age of The Only Way Is Essex but the trope itself is pretty much discredited nowadays. The WIGWAG(Wigan Walkden Girl, alternately Wigan Warrington Girl) [a slightly higher social demographic, as Wigan and Walkden are fairly affluent neighborhoods] - the older trope is now gone; it only survives in The Only Way Is Essex due to the legacy of the Grandfather Clause. The trope itself in general isn't obsolete, but the Essex version is. Audience reactions on this are mixed, to say the least.
  • Everything's Better with Platypi: This is slowly becoming a discredited trope, because it's gotten so that the platypus has become too popular to be considered "obscure" anymore. When a show is supposed to start including a "weird animal" in its cast, expect it to be a platypus.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: If the massive numbers of parodies (such as cars exploding after the slightest dent, or things that couldn't possibly explode such as bicycles or trees blowing up in a collision) and Lampshade Hangings in recent years is any indication, this is on its way to being this, especially after MythBusters debunked it. However, there are still plenty of people who believe this trope is true, leading to well-meaning bystanders pulling accident victims out of cars and causing further harm.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: It's been rapidly becoming this since at least the mid-nineties, and is rarely played straight anymore.
  • Everybody Smokes: The global smoking rate (as measured by admitted daily smokers) as of The New Tens rests around 25 to 30 percent, with a far lower percentage (around 19 to 25 percent) in most Western First World nations, due to aggressive education campaigns about the dangers of tobacco, stricter regulation of its use and sale and promotion, and free or low-cost quitting assistance for smokers, and more recently the emergence of electronic cigs. Some populations (and some nations/regions/cities) have larger percentages of smokers, but the trope is entirely discredited anywhere outside of those specific exceptions since The '90s.
  • Excited Show Title!: Fell out of favor from overuse.
  • Express Lane Limit: These days, the advent of self-checkout lanes in supermarkets has pushed this towards becoming a discredited trope. Customers can now judge, based on how many items they are purchasing, whether it's less effort to wait in line for an employee to ring them up, or to simply do it themselves. Alternatively, the lanes are designated as "basket only", placing a limit on volume of purchases rather than quantity.
  • Extreme Sport Excuse Plot: After the extreme sports fad of the '90s and early 2000s died out, this stopped being able to draw in large audiences. Not to mention many of said sports could just be watched on actual sports channels, without all the filler. Sports-based plots now need other aspects to attract viewers.
  • Face on a Milk Carton: At this point, it has been parodied countless times and has entered the collective subconscious to the point that while people may not have actually seen an actual one in their lifetime, they still recognize it. In real life, it has been replaced by the Amber Alert system.
  • Fairy Companion: Overused to the point of being considered a cliche in video games.
  • Fairy Godmother: This is rarely used seriously in modern stories, often seen as a trite character archetype or a Deus ex Machina, usually associated with the most archaic parts of Fairy Tales (even though this trope is a lot more recent than most of those stories, and in fact very rare in fairy tales collected by folklorists; most Cinderella variants have her aided by her dead mother, or, in such variants as Catskin and Cap o' Rushes, by nothing but her own wits and some advice). It's still often used, simply because it's just so useful that writers can't resist it, although they often disguise the fairy godmother as something else and play it for comedy.
  • Females Are More Innocent: Because of recent attitudes about gender profiling, use of this trope can lead to a writer looking sexist or old-fashioned. Not helping is historical evidence and news reports about women committing deeds that are just as bad as men (or in some cases, even worse), discrediting the trope further.
  • Fireballs: While use by popular lucadors such as El Mega Triple Campeón de AAA Mesías helped them retain popularity in the Latin American and Caribbean regions, this stunt became shunned in most regions where it was once common thanks to an infamous botch during a Hulk Hogan Ultimate Warrior match at WCW Halloween Havok where instead of hitting Warrior, Hogan burnt his own eyebrows and mustache. And while Mesías play a part in keeping them alive elsewhere, his competent use of fireballs in the United States still got Wrestling Society X cancelled by MTV.
  • Flashback Stares: Outside of comedies this is rarely used purely because it looks so silly, breaking any dramatic tension.
  • Floating Platforms: Floating platforms are quickly becoming this in video games. Game developers are now opting for ways to make them seem more realistic to preserve immersion, such as attaching them to the surrounding terrain or making up excuses (see: Flight) as to why they're just hovering there.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Nowadays the use of this depiction is usually meant as satire. The exceptions almost invariably treat the depiction as a simple visual short-hand.
  • Flushing Toilet, Screaming Shower: Becoming one because newer buildings are designed with this trope in mind so it's harder to pull off.
  • Follow That Car: These days unless you find a taxi driver who's always wanted to do this you're likely to be refused outright as few drivers want to risk themselves, their jobs or their cars on something of such questionable safety and legality and this had bled through into modern works.
  • Foot Popping: Somewhat discredited nowadays, and mostly crops up in parody (though the alert viewer will still sometimes see it played straight, mainly in romantic comedies), as often a man will do this to emphasize his effeminate side, or both people will do it at once.
  • Foreign-Looking Font: Quite a few of them are seen as racist. Chop Suey, Lithos and Neuland all are seen as racist or racialized, for example, especially when used in certain contexts or to make something seem "exotic."
  • Frankenstein's Monster: The "standard" appearance of the monster, usually consisting of a square head, greenish skin, enormous proportions, a scarred or stitched forehead, and bolts (actually electrodes) on either side of the neck. (To contrast, the most monstrous features of the novel's creature were his proportions and his jaundiced, soulless eyes.) The type of monster seen in the 1931 film adaptation is no longer taken as a serious depiction of the monster now.
  • Free the Frogs: A cliché that just doesn't work anymore, since the frogs (and other animals for dissection) always come pre-killed. And even if they weren't, teachers are required to provide alternatives to students who don't want to dissect and are gradually phasing out dissection for the exact reason this trope arose; a lot of people are really squicked out by doing it. Actually, most schools don't do dissections anymore, and those that still do often use virtual replicas.
  • Fridge Run: Becoming this with the rise of on-demand tv and digital recording services, meaning you can watch these at your leisure later and skip the ad breaks.
  • Funny Animal: The trope is still active in other ways, but the classic form of it, used with rubberhose cartoon characters like Felix the Cat and Mickey Mouse, has fallen to the wayside in mainstream works, usually being seen as an old fashioned cartoon style or solely as kids fodder. The trope is still used with revivals of classic series like Bugs Bunny or homages to those kind of cartoons, but rarely anywhere else. And in comic books, where it was once one of the headlining genres, it is almost completely dead.
  • Funny Foreigner: It's pretty hard to play this one straight, because of its racist and/or xenophobic undertones.
  • Gay Aesop: Discredited in western media, since gay characters are now relatively prevalent (compared to previous decades).
  • The Generation Gap has pretty much become this, with Baby Boomers and Generations X and Y becoming parents and today's children growing up in an unusually similar cultural landscape to the one their parents grew up in. Fortunately, recent shows like Modern Family and Two and a Half Men have realized this, and thus, the trope has been gradually phased out of television and movies during the past decade-and-a-half or so. Actually, since the 1980s, it has been relegated mostly to parody, although even that is becoming old hat.
  • Ghost Butler: In yesteryear, this was a standard feature of horror films — to show just how spooky the Haunted House was. It was used to the point where you are more likely to see it parodied than used straight.
  • Girls Have Cooties: Unless you are aiming at a VERY young audience, using this trope will make you a laughingstock, and even when shown is generally to teach a moral about how is not true at all.
  • GIS Syndrome: Always mocked, Played for Laughs, or derided as lazy. Some webcomics like Homestuck, Twisted Kaiju Theater, or Alien Loves Predator can get away with it, but only because of the Grandfather Clause and simple practicality issues.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Due to modern-day attitudes towards relationships, it's harder to take seriously anymore. If it is used, expect An Aesop as well. The mainstreaming of nerd culture such as The Big Bang Theory has rendered it more or less obsolete, as there's no longer anything especially remarkable about a self-proclaimed "nerd" having a fulfilling love life.
  • Going by the Matchbook: When was the last time you saw someone lighting a cigarette, cigar, joint, or bong with a match, anyway, let alone a handy clue-ready matchbook? A modern writer can still use this trope with a little imagination, though; a branded lighter would be the obvious choice, but pens or business cards could work, too.
  • Good Hurts Evil: An old and discredited trope, with some exceptions. It's largely been absorbed by the Smite Evil trope. It's an interesting cultural study; people no longer think that Good, itself, is invincible, but used correctly it can really kick ass! If it is used in modern works, it's usually in ones centered squarely on the Idealistic side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism, or where the baddies ARE shadows/darkness and thus are Weakened by the Light. It's often utilized alongside Only the Pure of Heart.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: In 3D platformers, the Collect-a-Thon format completely fell out of favor in the early 2000s due to how over saturated and cliche it became. It often got overused in lazily designed platformer games, particularly licensed ones, helping send the trend to an early grave. Even the Mario games, which kicked off the trend in the first place with Super Mario 64, have moved on to more standard platforming as of Super Mario 3D World. Yooka Laylee is the last holdout of it, but only gets away with it because it's a nostalgic tribute to those kind of games.
  • Gratuitous Animal Sidekick: This became such an overused cliche in feature animation like Disney and its imitators (especially in the 90's) and kids cartoons of the 70s and 80s, and such an obvious way of pandering to kids and hocking toys, that it's considered impossible to take seriously now. It's quite rare to find examples of it in contemporary works and it's very rarely used in mainstream films now (there are exceptions like Tangled, but the sidekick in question only had a very small role and gets a pass due to it being an ode to an old Disney tradition).
  • Greedy Jew: After being used as a justification for the Holocaust.

    H-M 
  • Happily Ever After: Varies between being considered a discredited trope and an Undead Horse Trope. It is frequently subject to parody, and frequently avoided in favor of a Twist Ending.
  • Haunted House: This is somewhat discredited nowadays, with parodies, Abandoned Hospitals, and amusement park attractions being similarly popular to the straight portrayals. It's also an enduring trope, however, with stories of haunted houses going back at least to the ancient Romans, making it Older Than Feudalism.
  • Hassle-Free Hotwire: On the way to being this, as more and more cars either incorporate a necessary processor into the key itself, or require the key fob to be present before they'll start.
  • Heart Symbol: Subversions, deconstructions and parodies are far more common than playing it straight these days.
  • High School Rocks: Despite being a popular trope beginning in the 70s, and continuing on into the 90s (particularly in kid shows), is rarely played straight anymore. Now that shows like Freaks and Geeks and My So-Called Life, not to mention movies like Superbad and (to a lesser extent) Dazed and Confused, have subverted it into oblivion, it's almost impossible to take this trope seriously anymore. Waterloo Road is the show that made it become this way.
  • High Times Future: This is somewhere between being discredited and a Forgotten Trope these days, what with Drugs Are Bad having been enforced in recent years.
  • His and Hers: Almost never played straight nowadays.
  • Henpecked Husband: As Many Domestic Abuse cases start to have more gender neutrality be added to them, this type of relationship is seen as either unrealistic or horrifying. Still occasionally crops up in sitcoms, but rarely elsewhere. Not discredited in anime and manga due to Values Dissonance.
  • Hillbilly Horrors: Has fallen out of favor due to the Unfortunate Implications surrounding it, with some comparing it to Blackface in terms of being an unfounded stereotype used to make people living in cities and the suburbs feel better about themselves. In recent years many people in Appalachia and the Deep South have retaken the slurs "redneck" and "hillbilly" and the like and worn them as badges of honor, and indeed many people in West Virginia and Kentucky regard these terms as falling under N-Word Privileges, but still, it's best to proceed with caution and be aware of who and where one is writing about.
  • Hollow Earth: The straight form of it used in old science fiction stories (such as Journey to the Center of the Earth) has been scientifically discredited for centuries and is never used in serious science fiction anymore. Variations of it survive, such as the Dyson Sphere, but only in a purely fictional context.
  • Hollywood Thin: On its way to becoming this, thanks to increasing backlash against media that pressures women and men to be as thin/buff as possible. Hollywood in particular is facing anger over its perceived encouragement of unhealthy lifestyles that revolve around being the size of twig. Ironically its deliberate opposite, Real Women Have Curves, may not be far behind it, as it's also receiving backlash for promoting the unhealthy ideas that people who are thin are somehow inferior to those who aren't.
  • Hummer Dinger: Quickly becoming this, as the one two punch of the late 2000s gas crisis and the 2010s economic crisis hit the SUV market hard, even in the United States. Even the Trope Namer Hummer brand was shut down in 2009.
  • Hysterical Woman: Not only a Double Standard; a tired cliché.
  • I Broke a Nail: This is mostly discredited nowadays. Most Writers Are Male, with short-clipped nails that rarely if ever get broken. As a result, it took a long time for women to get across that broken nails hurt, and that is usually why they're crying. When nails break, they tend to take a bit of skin with them... a bit of skin that has a cluster of nerves within. Then there's bleeding and the risk of infection so while it's not life-threatening, it's still a legit nuisance. Nowadays, it's used more as a joke than anything.
  • I Can Explain: The line is rarely played straight nowadays. And considered the number of times its been parodied/subverted, it's well on its way to be a Dead Horse Trope. As such, a common subversion is for the character in question to deliver this line... then resignedly admit that no, actually they can't explain it.
  • I Can See My House from Here: Hardly ever played straight anymore.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Discredited in slash fiction due to a specific use of it (i.e. "We're Not Gay We Just Love Each Other") being perceived as having homophobic undertones.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: A combination of being one of the most cliche ways of getting superpowers along with knowledge of the horrifying effects of nuclear radiation in real life becoming more commonplace is sending this trope packing. It has largely been replaced by Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke.
  • I'm Your Worst Nightmare: Such a cliche stock phrase that parodies far outnumber straight uses.
  • In a World...: The film trailer blurb immortalized by the late Don LaFontaine is heading in this direction.
  • Innocent Innuendo: These days, audience reactions tend not to be "whoa, are they doing it?", but "okay, what's really going on?"
  • Incriminating Indifference: This trope has been around on television so long that these days the subversion is at least as common as the trope: the "non emotional" person at the scene makes for an excellent red herring for the first half hour of a crime procedural, but is rarely the true killer because that would be too easy. You can expect the truly guilty person to have had the wetworks on full blast, just as expected, if only to throw off suspicion.
  • Inheritance Murder: Now becoming this; its rare to find a murder mystery where the inheritor actually turns out to be the murderer, although it's very common nowadays to find it at least Subverted with the inheritor being a prime suspect who turns out to be innocent.
  • Insane Equals Violent: Studies have shown that people with mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violence, not the perpetrators. Writers are also leaning towards more interesting motives for violence, as simply declaring that the villain is crazy can come off as lazy writing. Still lingering a bit in the horror genre, but largely only due to the Grandfather Clause or homages to earlier works that used this trope.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Now tends to be viewed as the adult "grooming" the child for sex, even if that's not the case.
  • Invention Pretension: Likely to be discredited now (at least in works set in the present day), since two minutes on The Other Wiki is usually sufficient to debunk such a claim.
  • Iris Out: An old movie and cartoon tool that became so cliche that variations and parodies were inevitable, and it is never played straight in contemporary media.
  • Is There a Doctor in the House?: Now, someone would just ask someone to call Emergency Services. Especially since, due to Crippling Overspecialization, a doctor present might not even be able to help in any meaningful way, e.g. a psychiatrist or a dentist won't likely be able to do any more for someone having a heart attack or who just got hurt in an accident than a non-doctor would. Even a proper medical doctor tends not to bring his drugs and instruments when going out to dinner; if someone had a heart attack, they couldn't do more than administer CPR, which ordinary folks can do with training.
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet: Still applicable in a few very rare instances (tornadoes, total loss of power), but most people in those circumstances are probably more Oh Crap! than "it's too quiet..."
  • "I Want" Song: In Western Animation, at least. Disney and its competitors milked the Broadway musical cartoon formula for all it was worth in the late 80's and 90's, with some of these films having song numbers like these shoehorned into them for the sake of having them (i.e. Tom and Jerry: The Movie, The Thief and the Cobbler and Quest for Camelot), which resulted in this trope becoming a red flag that the audience was about to watch yet another cliche musical story, and thus keep them from engaging with the characters or events—even as early as the mid 90s, Pixar had the foresight to realize the trope was heading in this direction, so their first films and everything after, such as Toy Story, intentionally avoided having the characters sing their motivations, or even sing at all, in order to distinguish it from those films. To put it in perspective, Toy Story was released in the same year as Disney's latest big feature Pocahontas—both did well at the box office, but Toy Story was lauded as a revolution in not only its CGI technique but for it's non-standard storytelling, while Pocahontas was critically chided for falling back on this trope and other tired musical cartoon formulas. By the time companies like Dreamworks Animation began moving on from (and in the case of Shrek, even outright mocking) this kind of storytelling in the early 2000's, the trope has completely fallen out of favor in mainstream feature animation. Only in recent years, with enough nostalgia for the era precedent, have works like The Princess and the Frog, Tangled and Frozen been able to non-ironically use it—but even then, it's only under the fact that these films are intentional homages to the Disney films of that time, so the trope and its accompanying genre at unlikely to become prominent again in the feature animation market.
  • Japandering: In the Internet age, it's all too easy for these sort of ads to be leaked onto YouTube or other sites. Some even go viral.
  • Jive Turkey: Thankfully, this is now discredited in real life. Unfortunately, it proves to be quite the resilient Undead Horse Trope and is still actively used in sitcoms and kid shows.
  • Kawaiiko: Now that we're in the age of salarymen, Japanese sex dolls (as mentioned by Justin Lee Collins) and Japanese supermodels like Leah Dizon, this trope is very much now no longer able to be played straight. British magazine Take A Break treated it as The New Rock & Roll, but they were Two Decades Behind - the kawaii fad is known for its flaws more than anything else and is a joke nowadays.
  • Karmic Rape: Only in a select very few situations is this not thoroughly discredited (e.g. Adolf Hitler in a Black Comedy, pedophiles), and even there it carries severe Values Dissonance. It is also more common in manga and anime than western works, due to cultural differences.
  • Kid Sidekick: While very popular during the Golden and Silver Age of Comics, nowadays it's rarely used because the kid sidekick has a tendency to become both The Scrappy and The Load. There's also the desire nowadays to avoid the implied moral that it's alright to put kids in mortal danger. In grandfathered cases like Robin or Bucky Barnes, the trope is either justified by having the kid putting themselves on the streets and the older hero is their mentor/guardian keeping them from getting badly hurt, or deconstructed by having the kid be a ruthless Child Soldier completely unlike the flashy Tagalong Kid expected. Also worth noting is that the premiere of Spider-Man in the 60s popularized the concept of the kid being their own independent superhero, thanks to Stan Lee's hatred of kid sidekicks, and a number of former sidekicks like Wally West and Bucky Barnes have since become adults and taken the title of their former mentor.
  • Killer Gorilla: The trope fell out of favor around the 90's, when new information came to light that gorillas (and orangutans) are usually benign, gentle creatures in the wild, as opposed to their staple depiction as belligerent, pugnacious beasts. The sign that it was pretty much done for was when Disney's Tarzan adaptation changed the fictional Mangani of the original novels to gorillas to reflect how science has marched on. Unfortunately, its counterpart trope, Maniac Monkeys, is still very much Truth in Television, especially after a nasty incident where a pet chimp gnawed the face off of his owner.
  • Last Minute Reprieve: Mostly subverted and rarely played straight now.
  • Late for School: Discredited in Anime and Manga due to overuse; current Japanese "How to Become a Shoujo Manga-ka" books specifically advise against using this trope, and more recent manga even lampshade how much of a cliche it is.
  • Laugh Track: Most modern-day sitcoms prefer going for the laugh trackless approach (as codified by Malcolm in the Middle in America), as it's considered poor form to tell the audience what to laugh at instead of letting them find things funny naturally. Though many modern-day sitcoms still use laugh tracks via studio audiences (notably The Big Bang Theory and Chuck Lorre's sitcoms in general), they often face complaints from viewers who find more obnoxious than funny, not to mention that the 3-camera setup is now seen with derision. The use of sound effects to "stand in" for the laughs was popular in the 2000s, but it has fallen into disuse as well.
  • Leprechaun: Only in Ireland itself though, not in America or elsewhere.
  • Little Did I Know: Since it's basically a way to invoke foreshadowing without any actual foreshadowing, its become discredited.
  • Little Green Men: The Grays have made them obsolete.
  • Love at First Sight: Usually ends with finding out the object isn't really the right person for you after all, nowadays.
  • Lover's Ledge: It's becoming this as Art Deco buildings are replaced by Glass Towers with no ledges and windows that don't open.
  • Love Potion: Generally recognized as a form of Date Rape if marriage/sexual contact results from its use.
  • Macekre: This has become discredited as syndicated television has lost its luster following the rise of cable and on-demand streaming. Likewise, companies that were prominent for heavy anime edits in the 1970s-2000s have either closed their doors or left the industry while anime distributors who produce faithful dubs, even for children's television, have taken their place.
  • Macho Disaster Expedition: The inherent sexism against both genders when using this trope - namely, that men are incompetent sexist morons, and that a woman is naturally better at keeping house, even if it's in the wilderness - have made using this trope uncomfortable.
  • Mad Scientist: Not as a whole, but the classic beaker/Jacob's Ladder/operating table configuration of the archetype is never played straight in contemporary works. Its usually used for camp and humor instead.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: A trope limited to historical settings nowadays, as Daddy DNA Test has rendered it irrelvant. (Unless the potential father is one of a pair of identical twins or clones, or testing is impossible for some reason.)
  • Magical Girl: Discredited as a genre by the success of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. The only classical-style Magical Girl series being created today are in older franchises protected by the Grandfather Clause (Sailor Moon Crystal, Pretty Cure); new series almost have to be significantly Darker and Edgier, blend the genre with something else, or both (such as Kill la Kill).
  • Man in a Bikini: It is still played straight, but one use of it is discredited: It is no longer used as a source of comedy nowadays, except for Teen Idol shows like Hannah Montana and iCarly. Main usage is for Very Special Episodes or to promote An Aesop on tolerating crossdressers.
  • Mars Needs Women: Discredited in the "They're invading, and they want our women!" sense, but not in the more general "non-humanoid character attracted to a girl" sense.
  • Mars-and-Venus Gender Contrast: Not played straight except in some romantic comedies, and even in those cases it's considered by most to be a tired cliche.
  • Mascot: Mascots were almost mandatory in the early days of advertising on radio and television, but are far less common today, probably because of the growing sophistication (or cynicism if you prefer) of the audience coupled with the perception that they are, really, rather silly. Outside of advertising aimed at children and/or breakfast foods, a Mascot in a modern commercial is as likely to be a subversion as not. An exception would be Japan, where everything has a cute mascot nowadays.
  • Mascot with Attitude: Started with copycats of the Trope Codifier, Sonic the Hedgehog. Between Sonic's own decline in popularity during the Sega Saturn era, and the number of mediocre to terrible examples souring peoples opinion of this trope (most infamously Awesome Possum and Bubsy, with Bubsy 3D considered one of the worst), the trope's death solidified rather easily. While Sonic regained some of his popularity in the early 2000's this trope never truly revived and at the moment Sonic is the only prominent example of this trope still around, due to him being the template for it in the first place.
  • Master Computer: Largely discredited today due to the growth of networks and multiply redundant systems; and, maybe, due to the fall of the Soviet Union, that simply loved centralizing everything. However, the software industry called Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is built around integrating all of a business or university's accounting and management software and automatically generating reports for the executives. So instead of being one physical computer, the Master Computer is now one or more entire data centers.
  • Mattress Tag Gag: Discredited since the 1960's, but still used for cheap throwaway gags on occasion.
  • Mayan Doomsday: December 21, 2012 is in the past now, and suffice to say, the world and civilization in general remain intact. It's hard to imagine any new works taking this trope seriously with that in mind.
  • Mega Meal Challenge: While the odd restaurant still does this, fiction doesn't portray it at all anymore. This is due to a large number of supposed "winners" of these types of contests having friends that work at the restaurants comp their meals, despite failing the challenges. Not to mention, the idea is seen these days as rather gluttonous and aside from a few Refuge in Audacity establishments, such as The Heart Attack Grill. With the health-conscious focus on food since the Turn of the Millennium, most eateries don't want to suggest their dishes are that unhealthy.
  • Medley Overture: With theatre orchestras getting smaller, and audiences and directors more impatient for shows to start, full-scale overtures have been relegated mostly to revivals of classic shows and throwbacks set in the 1920s or 1930s.
  • Men Can't Keep House: Outdated and untrue these days, with the advent of stay-at-home dads.
  • Millennium Bug: The year 2000 passed long ago; needless to say, the apocalypse didn't happen. Back in the late 90s, this was often used as a semi-plausible doomsday cause in fiction, at least for anyone that either didn't know how computers work or was looking for an excuse to bash them. Nowadays, it's only ever brought up to mock people for being so stupid as to get in a panic over the thing, like other attempts to predict the apocalypse.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: An artifact of stage acting (with the intent that granny in the back row could see what was going on), generally deprecated amongst modern actors.
  • Monster Closet: In first-person shooters. Present in shooters in mid 1990s to early 2000s but mainly replaced by offscreen or onscreen spawning.
  • Money Spider: Discredited to the point that reviewers occasionally bash game developers for making monsters drop money.
  • Ms. Red Ink: These days, women are likely to know at least the bare minimum of personal finance, and many have their own money to spend instead of relying on a husband or boyfriend.
  • Murder Simulators: The theory that video games cause anyone who plays them to become a psychopath was once popular amongst Moral Guardians, but has been proven (by time, if nothing else) to be patently untrue. The generation that grew up with video games is now having children of their own, and the few games made to stimulate people into killing anyone they didn't like (such as Ethnic Cleansing) outright bombed. The only game that really fit the definition of a "murder simulator" was Hatred, and gamers mocked it for being pointlessly dark and violent. It's fair to say that any media that still tries to paint video games with this trope will be outright ignored.
  • Mysterious Antarctica: As time goes on, of course, Science Marches On, and the more fantastical versions of this trope are just as discredited as the presence of civilizations on the very definitely inhospitable Mars and Venus as portrayed in many an early Planetary Romance.

    N-S 
  • Naďve Everygirl: This character is mostly discredited on Western TV nowadays but were popular before 1990s; only the most idealistic shows on the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism have one nowadays. But in film and "young adult" fiction, she is inescapable and they are frequent protagonists of Shoujo stories written by women.
  • Napoleon Delusion: Because after a certain point in time, delusional people wouldn't know who Napoleon is unless they were history buffs/history majors.note  Also, in Real Life, A God Am I and the belief that one is seriously connected to, harassed/persecuted by, or actually is a celebrity or the President of the United States are more common delusions, as is the possibly-not-delusional belief (depending on the person and their activities - there have actually been real cases of said harassment/persecution) that one is being harassed/persecuted by authorities, a conspiracy, or the like.
  • The Natives Are Restless: This isn't the age of colonialism anymore. It still pops up in fantasy and science fiction settings where colonialism can exist, but even then, it's more likely to be used for humour.
  • Nazi Grandpa: Since most of the Real Life examples of this trope are, at their youngest, in their late eighties and at their oldest centenarians, it's soon to become this.
  • Nazi Hunter: Becoming this nowadays, as anyone who served in World War II gets too long in the tooth to be anything other than a Nazi Grandpa. And the generation that would have been old enough to be movers and shakers in the Nazi party would now be centenarians. Finally, the end of the Cold War dramatically expanded the choice of stock villains. However, there are Neo-Nazi hunters in Real Life, who are dedicated to making life Hell for anyone they suspect of being a Neo-Nazi or sympathizer.
  • '90s Anti-Hero: While there are plenty of dark Superhero comics, the typical costume and characterization tropes in the 90s are considered laughable instead of cool, with several of the original characters either being retooled, or Put on a Bus. Except in Video Games, a medium where it seems to work better than comic books.
  • No More for Me: As one of those "old-fashioned" comedy gags, it's rarely played straight nowadays. It may be a throwback to the time of Prohibition, when poorly-synthesized bathtub gin could cause brain damage and blindness.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Still largely used and accepted in animation, comics and video games, but discredited in live action media.
  • Not Like Other Girls: Not only seen as an overused cliché, but as the trope page points out, both male and female versions come off as sexist or awkward if done poorly. Also, overlapping with Samus Is a Girl above, girls doing tomboyish things is no longer seen as subversive or unusual. If you see it nowadays, it will likely be a subversion or used to depict the character saying it as a jerk.
  • Officer O'Hara: There are still Irish-American cops in entertainment, but they tend to be less stereotypical. The whimsy and the just-off-the-boat accent tend to only be used straight in Historical Fiction these days.
  • One Bullet at a Time: Subjective; was originally a technical limitation, but can still be enforced for gameplay reasons (e.g. prevent some forms of Spam Attack).
  • Open Heart Dentistry: Most doctors these days (with a few exceptions) are quite specialized and almost never do anything outside of their specialties.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Shifting attitudes towards many issues and the fact the Teens Are Monsters trope has fell into disuse have made this more of a rule rather than an exception (to the point of replacing the Bumbling Dad as the most popular "father figure"). The presence of an overtly-tolerant parent is now more often than not spoofed by showing them being totally oblivious to their kids' unrealistically dangerous/unusual actions or attitudes.
  • Opening Narration: During the Title Sequence, this usually gave the premise of the series. Today, writers prefer not to waste time explaining the basics every week (especially given the existence of shorter running times —about 45 minutes per hour— and that many shows are sourced from well-known works). It's still played straight in some Medical Drama or Police Procedural series, occasionally in sci-fi, and also used in some comedies (How I Met Your Mother, Malcolm in the Middle, Scrubs...).
  • Opening Scroll: Today, the general stance is that you should just Show, Don't Tell. May occasionally pop up as an homage to one of the most famous examples (and even that was an homage).
  • Oral Fixation being used as shorthand for a particularly childish or immature character. This is yet another of Freud's ideas that has since been discredited by modern psychologists, although it was a very well known and widely accepted in its day. It also qualifies as a Forgotten Trope.
  • Once-Green Mars: Stories where Mars had a thriving civilization are getting to be this these days due to real-life Martian probing finding little or no archeological evidence. The theorized reasons why Mars isn't thriving like Earth now has a lot to do with its significantly lower gravity being unable to hold in an atmosphere with enough air pressure to keep liquid water from evaporating away, or any ozone layer to protect it from deadly solar radiation; a slow environmental death of natural consequences. However, in the past before space probes, astronomers only had their telescopes and their imaginations pointed at Mars, giving plenty of room to think up entire alien civilizations living on it.
  • Overt Operative: An obsolete version of this is the supposedly-inconspicuous trenchcoat, fedora and shades, which most Genre Savvy modern audiences would describe straight away as "a spy outfit".
  • Pac-Man Fever: As video game culture has become much more mainstream than it has in the past, the trope has fallen out of favor with media, especially on the internet, as portraying video games as if they never left the 1980's, with 8-bit sprites and stock Arcade Sounds, tends to show just how out of touch the writer is with the medium, especially considering many contemporary games push for strong, borderline live action realism and blockbuster level cinematics. It has largely been replaced by Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000 thanks to Moral Guardians.
  • The Padding technique used in British adventure serials (Doctor Who and Blake's 7 being the two most notorious abusers) of having the hero get captured at the end of one part (Cliffhanger), spend the next episode escaping and get captured again at the end of that episode by the same people (Cliffhanger). The fact that the mainstream, cliffhanger-laden adventure serial is a dead format, how the age of just shoving an episode out in a week ("so just write some stuff where everyone's running about to fill up minutes, who cares if it's good") is gone forever thanks to the increased complexity of special effects, and the fact that shows like this tend to be aimed at cult audiences who are very sensitive to this kind of plotting mean that this is never done nowadays, and if it does show up it's usually in spoofs.
  • Parental Favoritism: The Biological Vs. Adoption variation of it. It hardly needs mentioning that dozens of fairy tales (notably "Cinderella") involve stepchildren mistreated by their parents in favor of their biological children. This is a discredited trope today; more commonly, you have an adopted child who suffers some perceived slight from his stepparent and must be reassured that he is loved just as much as the parent's natural children.
  • Parlor Games: Nowadays, it's either used to show how boring or geeky the people playing are, or it's used as an actual Plot Device.
  • Pay Phone: As Technology Marches On and cell phones become increasingly available and affordable, fewer people have a need to use one unless their battery died or something. Increasingly, too, publicly-available telephones are disappearing from places where they normally would be, or are present but no longer functional.
  • Pie-Eyed: A long outdated, cliche way of drawing cartoon eyes from the 1920's and 1930's that is considered very tacky to use in contemporary works. The only newer works that use it tend to be nostalgic throwbacks to those old cartoons, or revivals of shows that used this kind of drawing in the first place, such as Mickey Mouse.
  • Phone-Trace Race: Still used on occasion by very dense Hollywood hacks, but with caller ID, the popularity of shows like 24 which have mostly ditched this trope, and a general paranoia about Google and Facebook tracking your every move, writers nowadays tend to err on the side of the FBI/NSA/CIA being too good at tracking your every move.
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: More often parodied (or made fun of) than played straight these days.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: The trope has become increasingly discredited given modern social attitudes regarding discrimination, and in contrast the use of politically-incorrect characters as the bad guys is now the rule.
  • Polygon Ceiling: By The New Tens, the vast majority of game series that were around during the transition period have either already found their niche in 3D, died out trying, or went back to a 2D gameplay style. Aside from that, gaming developers have realized at this point that some games simply work better in 2D and have stopped trying to make the leap.
  • Pocket Protector: While it may have worked in the days when guns were extremely underpowered (relatively speaking), these days the life-saved-by-sentimental-object trope is discredited; it's rare to find a 21st century example that plays it straight. It's important to note that most real-world examples involve ricochets, spent bullets, shrapnel or other low-velocity projectiles. It's a very lucky break when the round is moving slow enough to be stopped by anything so small and thin as what you can fit in a pocket.
  • "Pop!" Goes the Human: Largely discredited, as it was mostly born from an Urban Legend that eating too much would make a person explode, then evolved to other forms of humans popping from overfilling. However it is still sometimes used in works that are not going for realism, and is a timeless favourite as a Scare 'Em Straight cautionary tale against Gluttony. Also favored in comedy, for the logical reason that it mixes Stuff Blowing Up with Vulgar Humor.
  • Poor Man's Porn: The Internet Is for Porn, so you don't need to settle for the Victoria's Secret catalog anymore. However, due to Values Dissonance, this remains alive in British works.
  • Porn with Plot: At least in terms of serious live-action porn; creators have realized that people watching porn are generally just looking to enjoy the sex scene, not spend an hour or two getting attached to characters before anything sexy happens. If porn bothers having a plot nowadays, it will be a bare-minimum Excuse Plot or a goofy porn parody that doesn't take itself seriously, merely aiming to give the audience a chuckle between scenes. Not quite discredited in hentai or written erotica.
  • Porn Stache: An increasing association of it with porn stars, along with a general decline in popularity, makes it difficult for modern viewers to take such characters seriously.
  • Prank Call: This began to die off in the late-1990s when caller ID first began to show up, and the ubiquity of it in every phone from the mid-2000s onward killed it completely. Any attempts at a character in fiction trying this as a prank is usually done to show how behind the times they are.
  • Princess Classic: The trope is still used, but its very rarely used in its straight form or used seriously outside of childrens works.
  • Prolonged Prologue: Often seen in fantasy novels. They give a lot of backstory on a world that the reader hasn't read enough of to care about yet. Most publishers say Show, Don't Tell and let the reader learn about the world through the eyes of the characters.
  • Proverbial Wisdom: This is often seen as a discredited trope in Western culture: the excessive use of proverbs is considered trite and cliche, typical for elderly people and those who want to seem more thoughtful than they are. Conversely, it is very frequently employed in Eastern culture. In it, proverbs are often cryptic in their meaning and serve as "thought exercises" to make a person think "outside of the box" (Zen koans being the best known example).
  • Pounds Are Animal Prisons: Fortunately becoming this with animal welfare groups (not the Animal Wrongs Group) making the plight of abandoned and abused animals more well-known, though it may have originated from the Forgotten Trope of the Diabolical Dogcatcher (especially in areas where pet ownership required an official license).
  • Power Walk: It's starting to become this due to Seinfeld Is Unfunny and the difficulty of actually getting a group of people to do this outside of a parade or a military exercise.
  • Queer People Are Funny: Often seen as homophobic nowadays.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Except in video games. Some terrain does do this in Real Life - the squickiest example is liquid manure, but snow in an avalanche and grain (as in a grain bin) are also notorious for "swallowing up" and killing people who unfortunately fall onto it. You actually have far more of a chance surviving quicksand than either liquid manure, an avalanche, or grain - because all three of the latter are far easier to sink into beyond the point of saving oneself.
  • Random Encounters: Originally required by technical limitations, but rarely seen now consoles have the power to render enemies in the overworld (Pokémon being a notable exception via the Grandfather Clause).
  • Rape and Switch: The Unfortunate Implications of the trope (e.g. either that gay people can be made straight via rape, OR that LGBTQ people "recruit" by sexual abuse and rape, or in some cases both), as well as greater understanding have made this trope very discredited and disfavored in most works made after The New Tens. The only place it remains is in (usually less well-written) Fan Fic, where the "victim falls for rapist" variant of it will make appearances.
  • Rape Portrayed as Redemption: Absolutely discredited (and many of its past depictions have tied into the trope directly above, which really has not made them age well). The only way this could be played with any kind of sensitivity toward the victims of rape or in anything but the darkest of Black Comedy is a variant with the rapist seeing rape as the "rock bottom moment" of their life and being Driven to Suicide or becoming The Atoner or something similar.
  • Rated M for Manly: Generally seen as too cheesy, stereotypical, and over-the-top to take seriously anymore. If you see it now, it'll be done as a subversion (the manly characters turning out to actually be cowards, wimps or liars) or a Affectionate Parody (taking the manliness Up to Eleven and making it as silly as possible). Not entirely discredited though, as some people would still prefer stereotypically masculine and tough guys because they think it's funny, or because they genuinely preferred them over the more reserved, "weak" men.
  • Real Women Have Curves: Though once touted as an empowering alternative to Hollywood Thin, the trope is now facing quite a bit of backlash for implying that being skinny isn't "real" (meaning that said women had anorexia or "cheated" or "sold out" to be model-quality thin); as multiple writers have pointed out, replacing one beauty standard with another isn't exactly progress. As a result, the trope far less likely to be played straight than it once was.
  • Red-and-White Comedy Poster: Very common in the Turn of the Millennium, but rarely seen in The New Tens, due to an association with movies that are utter crap.
  • Red Scare: Formerly a common villain source for Big Bad or henchmen villains in the Spy Drama, it's now a Discredited Trope since the end of the Cold War, although an even more Eastern revival of sorts is possible (see below). Instead, rogue former Soviet scientists tend to be in vogue in the role of the Mad Scientist who works for the Big Bad, as well as The Mafiya.
  • Relationship Revolving Door: While it was once viewed in as a breath of fresh air when the show that made it famous debuted, years of this trope's use afterwards has caused it to be viewed as one of the ways to not write a relationship by most new media, being nothing more than a cheap excuse to cause drama when it isn't needed, and often involving characters clutching the Idiot Ball, Jerkass Ball, and Conflict Ball, often all at the same time. Ironically, the single-targeted types of relationships it was once viewed as a breath of fresh air for are now considered more original (not to mention realistic) than this trope, and are considered one of the better ways to write a relationship.
  • Remember the Alamo: Discredited in works set in the present day or near future.
  • Repeat Cut: This technique was overused in the late Eighties and early Nineties, when it seemed like everything exploded three times if it exploded at all. Now it tends to be used in parodies rather than serious works.
  • Returning the Handkerchief: The prevalence of simple paper tissues in modern society — especially Japan, contributes to this trope being discredited these days; if a literal handkerchief does appear in the story, the setup is likely to be parodied or not played entirely straight.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: An overused stock sequel title, especially for horror movies.
  • Ring Around the Collar: The advent of digital animation has rendered this obsolete, used mostly as a tribute to the classics - although, the equivalent is still utilised in 3D animation for digital games - characters are built out of multiple, non-connected models, with things like collars, watches, and the like, being used to hide the seams, akin to traditional 2D.
  • Rise of Zitboy: Rarely used outside of parody nowadays.
  • Rock Bottom: Considered trite now, and frequently subverted or parodied in newer works.
  • Robo Speak: As modern computers get better at duplicating and mimicking sounds, including speech — and the average person grows more familiar with that technology in his day-to-day life - the public at large seems to be accepting the notion that you could create a robot that doesn't sound like a sedated Darth Vader.
  • Rotoscoping: Derided as a lazy, poor substitute for actual animation by both animators and critics (thanks in part to another trope it inevitably invokes), it is almost never used in modern hand-drawn animation, let alone without irony. Its more modern equivalent, Motion Capture, is still used in CGI, but often to equal derision and now rarely seen outside of live-action films.
  • The Runaway: The Circus Brat variant of it, since circuses are much more niche now than they have been in the past and are much more regulated now.
  • Said Bookism: In these days, it's often considered redundant, and generally considered a very obvious hallmark of amateur or inexperienced writers.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Overused and now the revelation that a girl can be as strong and badass as men is no longer subversive.
  • Santa Claus Tropes: Santa has become such a commercial icon of Christmas and as such overexposed via countless Christmas specials and merchandise, that it is pretty much impossible to play any classic trope related to him straight now (unless you're telling one of the old stories, which get a pass due to Grandfather Clause, or telling a story for very young children—and even stories for the latter tend to give wry twists on the tales these days). Even then, the character still runs into Undead Horse Trope territory—Santa is just so iconic and so firmly rooted into the public consciousness by sheer inertia, that people can't help but keep using him for stories, even if it means poking fun at or rationalizing the cliches and impossible feats surrounding the character.
  • Sand In My Eyes: Nowadays it's just as likely to be used to evoke pity for the character's inability to express his emotions honestly as it is to portray them as strong and stoic. That's assuming it's not being outright mocked.
  • Sassy Black Woman: This characterisation is fast becoming cliched and is seen as lazy writing by many viewers who want to see minority characters given as much depth, individuality and nuance as white characters are permitted. When the first trailer for Ghostbusters (2016) made Patty Tolan appear to be one of these (The character in the film proper was far more nuanced, the trailer had only cherry picked her loudest moments,) people were not pleased.
  • Saturday Morning Cartoon: Was already on a steady downfall thanks to the creations of dedicated networks like Cartoon Network, but the practice of running brand-new episodes of cartoons on prime time and the rise of video on demand systems like Netflix ended up putting the final nail in the coffin for this format.
  • The Savage Indian: Still pops up sometimes but has mostly been replaced by the Noble Savage and the Magical Native American.
  • Save Our Students: Done so often as Oscar Bait that it became an intolerable cliche, coupled with an infamous episode of South Park that mocked and deconstructed the concept so thoroughly that nobody was able to take it seriously anymore without a torrent of people saying "How do I reach deez keeds?".
  • School Is for Losers: It has become less prominent nowadays as modern evidence shows that people with higher levels of education have better quality of life, most notably during economic downturns. Also the "drop-out tycoon" rarely shows up anymore, as only extremely intelligent and able people can dodge regular education (at least) and become successful (as lampshaded in The Simpsons). Furthermore, many jobs that just needed a high school diploma in the 1980s (never mind the 1950s) now require college degrees as a result of Crippling Overspecialization.
  • Scooby-Doo Hoax: After being abused by the original Scooby-Doo and other Hanna-Barbera cartoons, this is never played straight anywhere now. Even more recent incarnations of the cartoon make a point out of subverting, playing with, mocking, or outright deconstructing this trope.
  • The Scream: Almost universally Played for Laughs nowadays. In modern media, a Big "NO!" is preferred, or, if the media's classification allows for it, an Atomic F-Bomb or Cluster F-Bomb.
  • Screamers have received two major blows over the Internet's history. Initially, when flash movies and games were still the norm, there were no clear distinctions between screamers and legitimate pages, creating a minefield for fearful site goers; this meant less traffic for sites like FunnyJunk and WinterWorld. Later, with the advent of video over flash files, viewers were able to scroll to the end of the video to see if any suspicions were confirmed, removing all suspense and defeating the purpose of screamers. They have since been replaced by the trap video, which puts the scare at the beginning of the video, and aims not to make individuals jump, but to cause outrage within specific audiences. Furthermore, they've also been overshadowed by Rickrolls as the Internet's prank of choice.
  • Screen Shake: Shaking the screen in live-action media is almost discredited thanks to the fact that it's ugly and not believable. Nowadays, live action sets can be put on a platform that shakes the entire thing, giving a renewed sense of realism to falling on your arse. However, this technique remains popular in animation and video games. If the controller supports vibration-feedback, expect it to shake too.
  • Self-Abuse: A horribly outdated idea based on old wives tales and religious beliefs that largely died out after the sexual revolution of The '70s. In fact, a lot of evidence nowadays flipped this trope on it's head; masturbation can actually improve mental and physical health.
  • The idea of Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll seems to have more-or-less fallen by the wayside. This is probably due mostly to the vast number of drug-related deaths and rehab stints among various rock musicians in the 60s, 70s and 80s (Jimi Hendrix, Nikki Sixx, Ozzy Osbourne, etc.). However, other factors include the extensive anti-drug campaigning of the 80s, the AIDS scare mostly rendering the concept of "Free Love" obsolete, and the Grunge movement of the early 90s shifting the focus of rock away from glorified sex and drug use. Granted, sex and drugs still exist in the music business. But most of the musicians who engage in such activities, at least in Western mainstream pop and country music, are far more secretive and openly ambivalent towards them than before.
  • Sex Equals Love: Because most people have realized it doesn't in quite a few cases. Also carries very Unfortunate Implications regarding forced sex/sexual assault/rape.
  • Shotgun Wedding: A combination of greater availability of contraception and a reduced stigma of single motherhood make this trope seem very dated today. If a woman does get pregnant, a couple doesn't have to get married, but the father is expected to provide some form of support.
  • Shrink Ray: Due to Science Marches On, this is now limited to more-or-less humorous works.
  • Shoe Shine, Mister?: On its way to being discredited in first world countries. While shoe shine stands still exist today, they're not mainstream anymore and very rarely appear in contemporary media, usually being delegated to period piece works at best.
  • Slow-Loading Internet Image: A victim of Technology Marches On; most internet connections these days are more than capable of handling adequately-sized images. A more modern equivalent is slow or choppy video buffering, which is still very much an issue for most.
  • Slurpasaur: Nowadays, even low budget movies have the ability to make monsters using either CGI or animatronics. This means real animals don't have to substitute.
  • Small Annoying Creature: Rarely shows up anymore except as parody.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Changing attitudes towards smoking have deemed these tropes in bad taste, if not outright dangerous for the impressionable. Modern examples that play these straight are met with fierce criticism.
  • Smoking Is Glamorous: Similar to the Smoking Is Cool trope, attitudes have changed about the effects of smoking, and studies have shown that smoking has the opposite effect of making one look more glamorous.
  • Spies in a Van: While the trope as a whole isn't discredited, one specific use of it is; it's no longer used as a serious situation (except in police documentaries such as Police, Camera, Action!, Road Wars etc.). Not only have things like drones and wire taps made this an obsolete and less believable method of spying, but the image of a pair of sinister, well-trained spies crouching in a beat-up van tends to be really goofy. When it does appear in serious works, it will likely be used for brief comic relief and nothing more. Still used in comedic stories, since there you're probably not meant to take the spies seriously anyways.
  • Standard Fantasy Setting: Though there are several Long Runners that will continue to print money from it until the apocalypse, new fantasy games and novels can't get away with playing "Elves 'n Wizards in Medieval Stasis" straight anymore.
  • Standard Hero Reward: Now widely seen as sexist against women, for having a woman be an "object" to be rewarded. If you play this straight outside of Historical Fiction or one of the grandfathered-in examples (and even those sometimes), you can expect very harsh criticism.
  • Standard Human Spaceship: As time has gone by, it has become ecame painfully apparent that the space program is unlikely to be significantly influenced by aesthetic sensibility. The two primary reasons for this are conservation of launch mass preventing spacecraft from bearing any components that serve form over function, and the fact that once you break out of atmosphere, just about any shape would do as long as thrusters are aligned correctly (Naturally, a Space Plane would still require an aerodynamic shape). Thus, as understanding of what it actually takes to get into space became more commonplace, the rocket ship gradually became discredited due to Zeerust and is now usually found solely in parodies or homages to classic sci-fi.
  • Standing in the Hall: Parodied in some Japanese works still; but not used in Real Life as much. In western countries, similar variants aren't used due to kids taking it as an opportunity to wander around the halls.
  • Star Trek Movie Curse: Not taken seriously anymore after the lackluster reception of the 10th film, Star Trek: Nemesis, and the massive success of the 11th film, the 2009 reboot Star Trek.
  • Stern Nun: For one thing, many teachers at modern Catholic schools are laypeople, not nuns. For another thing, after the advent of the Self-Esteem Movement of The '70s, parents would be all up in arms if a teacher (whether a nun or a layperson) meted out those kinds of punishments. (Nuns also haven't worn those starchy white wimples since the 1970s at the latest, but you'll still occasionally see them, usually for humor.)
  • The Stoner: The typical depiction of marijuana users as bumbling burnouts has been phased out in favor of portraying them as perfectly normal people, even having above-average intelligence, although still rather forgetful.
  • Stranger Danger: Aesops about the inherent dangers of talking to strangers were huge in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but due to changing attitudes (coupled with the discovery that the majority of abuse comes from people that the victims know personally) it's rarely played straight. It briefly gained new life regarding meeting strangers online, but is unlikely to ever reach the same hysteria it created before.
  • Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard: On The Internet, it's become so overused that it's turning into the I'm Your Worst Nightmare of insults.
  • Subliminal Seduction: The initial claims have long since been discredited. Later, better-documented studies have revealed that there is a slight psychological effect, but the results are so minimal that existing preferences will completely overwhelm it.
  • Some of My Best Friends Are X: Because using it is pretty much the equivalent of having the character wear a shirt saying "HEY I'M A BIGOT," along with an added Ku Klux Klan hood and jackboots for flair - you've instantly made him/her a Politically Incorrect Villain even if you don't wish to have done so.
  • Such a Phony: A staple of sitcoms from the eighties to the nineties, but constant reuse has robbed the joke of its sting. You can still see it on contemporary shows, but the better written ones try to avoid or play with it.
  • Suddenly Ethnicity: In these melting-pot days it is on the way to being discredited.
  • Suicide, Not Murder: Something of a discredited trope nowadays, as most life insurance companies will pay out for suicides, though sometimes not as much as with a murder, or after a 1-2 year cooling off period, so to speak, or to frame the person(s) they feel are responsible for the circumstances that drove them to suicide.
  • Supermarket Skit: Its use fell off after the late 1960s and early 1970s, and it has only rarely been spotted since then. Parody commercials sometimes recreate it, but it hasn't been used straight in decades.
  • Super Couple: Now on its way to becoming discredited as audiences eventually tired of seeing their favourite supercouples getting married for the fourth time and were Genre Savvy enough to know that as long as both characters of a pairing remained on the show, then any break up would not be permanent. The rise of internet messageboards in the 1990s provided an outlet for fans of alternative pairings. These pairings often become more popular than the show's Official Couple, resulting in a lot of Ship-to-Ship Combat. Soap writers today usually prefer to use this to their advantage and even those pairings that were once thought untouchable (even the aforementioned Luke and Laura) are not immune from this. One area where the trope is still going strong, however, is with same-sex couples, as they tend to automatically get showered with attention simply due to their ground-breaking nature.
  • Superhero Packing Heat: Become so strongly associated with the '90s Anti-Hero, that it fell out of favor right alongside it.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: Time was when every other superhero had a cape. These days, capes are considered to be impractical, and even dangerous (see the fate of Dollar Bill in Watchmen or Edna Mode's speech about cape-related mishaps in The Incredibles). You'll still see capes on plenty of DC heroes such as the Superman family and the Bat family, but mostly because of the Grandfather Clause. Aside from Doctor Strange, the Vision, Thor and the supervillains Magneto and Dr. Doom, Marvel has very few characters who wear capes.
  • Sweat Drop: The exaggerated version of this is practically discredited; most shows nowadays use much smaller, more modest sweatdrops instead.
  • Sweeps Week Lesbian Kiss: Since the mid-2000's, the lesbian sweeps kiss seems to be getting increasingly diminishing returns in the ratings. The LGBT community is no longer desperate for whatever non-negative representation they can get, and critics are no longer impressed by a showrunner's "bravery" by including it. Further, when you can see far more bizarre things on YouTube (to say nothing of other corners of the Web), and far more extreme or daring things on non-network television, the trope is clearly becoming this.

    T-Z 
  • Taking the Veil: The "Immured" variant of it fell aside by the end of the Victorian era.
  • Technicolor Science: On the verge of becoming this thanks to the fact that much of the lab equipment that this trope depends on is either becoming outdated or less important in modern laboratories. Glass test tubes are being replaced by eppendorf centrifuges, plastic wellplates, or other plastic disposable equipment where tests can be done with only microliters of samples and chemicals. Complex glassware apparatus setups that look like Mad Scientist Laboratory equipment have already gone the way of the dodo. The functions of those apparatus' are now either obsolete or accomplished using miniaturized and simpler equipment.
  • Teens Are Monsters: At least, the more "rebellious" teenagers in sitcoms that seem to only exist to make their parents miserable tend to be headed this way. Writers seem to be taking note of how hormones don't always turn a child into a raging monster who disagrees with their parents over everything, especially if it goes against everything the character has shown before. Additionally, most writers are also beginning to take note of how, instead of viewing them as kids going through a sensitive time in their lives, most viewers would rather beat most of these character types over the head with a lead pipe more than anything else. That said, Exaggerated, Played for Laughs versions of this trope do still pop up from time to time in most media.
  • Text Parser: Most modern day Adventure Games usually either use Point-and-Click mechanics, or an Action Bar. Text Parsers are often considered confusing, and don't work well on systems that have no keyboards.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: Modern musicals, at least in theatre, are specifically not supposed to play this one straight anymore, though there's still a chance a song of this nature may end up as a Breakaway Pop Hit
  • There Are No Girls on the Internet: The online population has reflected real-world gender distributions since 2001 or so.
  • 30 Minutes, or It's Free!: Domino's Pizza, the chain that started this, had it end up leading to a ton of bad publicity and several multi-million dollar lawsuits against the pizza chain after their drivers ended up causing fatal car crashes. After Domino's was forced to stop using the offer because of one of said lawsuits, the trope fell out of favor in fiction. It didn't help that the trope was endlessly mocked and criticized even before the lawsuits.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Overused to the point of being discredited. You're as likely as not to see it thrown in a sentence just to be funny, even though there is no other reason to emphasize a point this way.
  • Timmy in a Well: Parodied to the point of being a Discredited Trope by now, maybe even a Dead Horse Trope. Heck, just the classic phrase is common sarcasm for when someone has no idea what is being non-verbally communicated. note 
  • Tin-Can Telephone: Thanks to the internet and mobile phones being cheap enough that even children have them, this is a sadly disappearing relic.
  • Tontine: These have been banned by international law because it incentivizes the deaths of its participants.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Still pops up occasionally in particularly Glurge heavy works, but is growing increasingly unpopular and criticized due to the Unfortunate Implications it entails (implies that life in general is somehow terrible and that being good will just get you killed) and how laughably heavy-handed uses of the trope tend to be.
  • Totally Radical: Constantly changing vernacular in the last two decades has made this too hard to take seriously, not to mention it comes off as a desperate attempt from older works to seem hip.
  • Touch of the Monster: Has fallen out of favor in the mainstream, but it still appears in niche works.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Not discredited as a whole, but a specific variation of it—when a character exhibits an obsession for food that corresponds with a stereotype for his race or culture—is usually not taken seriously unless it is played to lampoon the stereotype.
  • Trapped by Gambling Debts: Discredited in spy stories, but still used elsewhere.
  • Trauma Inn: This is quickly becoming discredited, as modern RPGs are steadily replacing the Trauma Inn with automatic healing at save points. When an inn actually appears in a game with save point recovery, it's either there for a plot event, or it's just decorative scenery.
  • Trojan Gauntlet: In most places, changing sexual mores, the advent of HIV/AIDS and Tech Marches On (condoms are no longer behind the counter, self service checkouts) have rendered this trope a thing of the past.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: It's become such a cliche, especially during the second half of the twentieth century, that it's now almost impossible to play it completely straight anymore.
  • Two Gamers on a Couch: Once an extremely popular format for webcomics, now mocked and derided as lazy, unoriginal, and boring after the internet was glutted with poor imitations of the good ones. A few webcomics that use this are still going strong, but only thanks to the Grandfather Clause and even the codifiers of the trope have distanced themselves from it. Note that this applies only to webcomics that use this trope; non-comic examples like Game Grumps seem to have fared much better in the long-term.
  • Unwanted Glasses Plot: This has become irrelevant in recent years, due to the wide acceptance of glasses to the point that some people are actually buying Purely Aesthetic Glasses just for the look, the stigma associated with glasses is pretty much gone. And with the increased recognition of glasses fetishism, you're more likely to see someone use their glasses as a selling point when flirting than take them off.
  • Unscrewed Salt Shaker: The combination of being a total cliché and the harsh effect of ruining someone's entire meal for a cheap laugh means this prank usually doesn't get a very good reception, unless the target is particularly unpopular.
  • Unrequited Tragic Maiden: This is starting to become either discredited as romantic portrayals of females become less dependent on the male characters, or a Deconstructed Trope to showcase a point-of-view of it being an unrealistic idea of romantic love.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: As trans awareness has risen this now comes across as blatantly prejudiced and rife with all kinds of Unfortunate Implications. Playing this trope straight will usually get the writer into hot water due to the still dangerous aspects of this trope in Real Life.
  • Wakeup Makeup: Not taken seriously in live action anymore, but still played straight in animation.
  • Washy Watchy: This is a fairly discredited but can still occasionally be seen at laundromats in Real Life. On the other hand, it's a bit of a Coconut Effect in the way that clear-front washing machines are not very common in laundromats as they are usually much newer (and why would a laundromat owner upgrade when their '80s/'90s machines work fine?).
  • We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: In an age where Photoshop and other digital tools are commonplace in society and people are becoming much more familiar with digital manipulation and its hallmarks, this trope is quite hard to pull off convincingly in contemporary works.
  • What Are Records?: Most kids are not as clueless about old technology as we think they are. It also helps that vinyl records have undergone a recent resurgence in popularity. And while this trope becomes less often used, its reverse tropes is becoming more and more popular. With vinyl's Popularity Polynomial and the rise of streaming, kids in the future will likely ask "What are CDs?" instead.
  • Where The White Women At: This is considered far more acceptable in recent years, the trope only used for satire.
  • White Dude, Black Dude: This was an extremely popular routine during the late '70s and early '80s, being part of the "Blaxploitation" movement that sought to reclaim supposedly negative stereotypes as positives. Nowadays however it's only ever done ironically, as the influx of less talented comedians using it led to focus on its rather racist undertones and general lack of creativity. It didn't really help that black comedians were pretty much the only people able to pull it off without looking like gigantic racists.
  • White Man's Burden: Increasingly difficult to play straight without being mocked thanks to its racist overtones.
  • Wild Samoan: Obvious Unfortunate Implications and Society Marches On make this discredited now. (This doesn't apply to Professional Wrestling, the performance art that time forgot.)
  • With This Ring: A specific variation of it (a woman is washing the dishes without her yellow rubber gloves on, and the wedding ring goes down the drain. Cue panicked call to the plumber.) is no longer taken seriously.
  • Women Drivers: The idea of women being dangerously poor drivers for laughs is now seen as a tired comedic stereotype, and very sexist on top of that. Nowadays, if the trope does show up, the joke is usually about the driving itself, rather than the sex of the driver.
  • Wraparound Background: Rarely used in contemporary animation, since it's considered such an obvious (and cheesy) cost cutting trick. The technique is inapplicable to CGI as well, which further cuts off its use in newer works.
  • Writer's Block Montage: Seen as a tired cliche, especially ones that involve a typewriter and writers smoking.
  • Old magic tricks like the Disappearing Box and Saw a Woman in Half are best not done in their straight form these days, as everyone's seen them dozens of times and probably knows how those tricks are done.
  • In modern chase scenes the Fruit Cart, Sheet of Glass, and Baby Carriage are only included with at least a wink — for serious chases something else that will go splat is used.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Used to be a staple of the adventure game genre, particularly if Sierra was at the helm. These days, almost no games are cruel enough to still use it as a mechanic.
  • Vampires Hate Garlic: Considered a dated, cliche vampire weakness. When it pops up today, its either subverted (in newer works, vampires often demonstrate, contrary to superstition, that they can eat garlic for lunch) or played for laughs (in certain works, a nod is made to the tradition by making one certain vampire allergic to garlic).
  • The Virgin in a White Dress. Nowadays, Western women are free to have sex lives before marriage (although it may be frowned upon in some circles), and free to choose what color dress they wear. It's entirely possible (heck, even likely) that a modern bride wearing a white dress might not be a virgin or might only be a Technical Virgin. And second, third, fourth, etc.-time brides are still allowed to wear white if they choose to. Another reason of why this is discredited is the fact that white lost its connotations of purity and became simply the color associated with new beginnings, including but not limited to marriages, that's why most wedding decorations are either white or in any other very light color such as cream. (Gold/white and silver/white are extremely popular.)
  • Yellow Peril: When played seriously, with no mitigating factors (e.g. being Historical Fiction set in World War II with Imperial Japan as an enemy), this is extremely racist in almost all cases. A portrayal of North Korea might be able to step close to the trope, but even there, focusing on the race/racial attributes as a large part of the villainy rather than internal genocide and repression is obviously going to come off as racist.
  • Yellow Snow: Considered such a lowbrow, juvenile gag, that its only used as a bottom of the barrel gag for kids shows at best, and never used in adult comedy.
  • You All Meet in an Inn: While the trope is Older Than Print and used in the works of greats like Chaucer, it has become a cliche that should be avoided due to overuse. Actually starting an adventure with the words "So, you all meet in an inn..." may be seen as roleplaying's equivalent to "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night..." Thus, a lot of sources advise against using it, and give pointers on how to avoid it. The 3rd Edition Dungeon Master's Guide for Dungeons & Dragons, in a list of ways to bring a party together, dubs this "The Cliche". David Morgan-Mar, of Irregular Webcomic! and Darths & Droids fame, provides a list of less overused ways to start an adventure, as do the folks at the dice of doom blog.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DiscreditedTrope