Enforced Trope
aka: Enforced

*Our magnanimous sponsor TropeCo® requires us to display this word.
— The "Enforced" box of the image on Playing with a Trope

Tropes that are there because the writer had to include them—especially when a sharp-eyed viewer can tell the creator would have preferred to leave them out.

It happens for a number of reasons:

May lead to Writer Revolt in extreme cases. Clever writers may attempt Getting Crap Past the Radar.

Contrast Subverted Trope, Averted Trope, Defied Trope.

General examples:

  • Action Girl: At least when a show is action/adventure-oriented and has a prominent female role. Otherwise, the whole thing just looks plain discriminatory.
  • Censorship Tropes: You can't ignore the censors without consequences.
  • Being forced to Bowdlerise a work. The enforcers could be Moral Guardians, government requirements, or Executive Meddling.
  • When fiction deals with the history of some region, it may sometimes need Rose Tinted Narrative to get mainstream success in that region. In worse cases, Rose Tinted Narrative will be required for publication.
    • The Deep South in the first several decades of film got a lot of rose-tinting.
    • Also happens with other works that require the authorization of their subjects—authorized biographies, for instance.
    • Under The Hays Code, priests, ministers, and other religious authorities had to be portrayed respectfully without exception. Fittingly, one of the co-authors of the Code's actual text was a Jesuit Catholic priest—and while he acknowledged that not all "ministers of religion" were worthy of respect, mockery of any one of them would (supposedly) encourage sacrilegious attitudes.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating. It's presumed that any work that can be seen without moral qualms by anyone, regardless of age, is not worth seeing by adults ("children will watch anything"). Since this would cut into profits by scaring off parts of the potential audience, it needs to be avoided.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle is all but unavoidable in TV series if they run long enough.
  • Rated M for Money is often caused by Executive Meddling.
  • The Coconut Effect, because Reality Is Unrealistic.
  • Coconut Superpowers, because of budgetary problems during production.
  • A Spiritual Successor may be created because a legal dispute renders a true sequel impossible.
  • Any medium that relies on a small amount of people on a hectic time table will occasionally not be able to do the research correctly, and make some mistakes. Especially if they're on a contract.
  • Any work that exists to promote or sell a product (such as a line of toys) will be constrained by product availability, turnover, popularity and gimmicks. Transformers is probably the most successful example.
  • The Audible Sharpness in The Lord of the Rings was going to be averted, until test audiences had trouble accepting the absence of the trope.
  • Dawson Casting can sometimes be necessary for legal reasons. One example is the film adaptation of The Reader. Michael Kross legally couldn't shoot his sex scenes with Kate Winslet until he had turned 18. A very common example is to avoid Union regulations and/or actual laws in regards to youth actors.
    • Game of Thrones takes this even further. In the books, Daenerys Targaryen is 13 when she is married off to Khal Drogo, and eventually becomes pregnant with his child—just as she turns 14. She was aged up significantly to avoid the Moral Guardians, but as the time of her birth is tied to Robert's Rebellion, the rest of the cast had to be aged up as well. Of course, this allows a few more characters to get that delicious high-skin Sexposition time, so it works out, we guess?
  • Pac-Man Fever. Using a modern game would involve licensing or Product Placement agreements. Generic 80s arcade sounds do not.
  • Post-Script Season: This is almost never something planned by the writers. If a show is renewed, it'll get written for, but the writers then have to work their way out of the constraints of the original story.
  • Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: Legal disclaimers are necessary to stave off attacks from overzealous lawyers.
  • 555: Fictional phone numbers and addresses may need to avoid corresponding to ones in Real Life.
  • No Budget: When the creators are limited by budget constraints.
  • White Male Lead is usually employed because the entertainment industry feels (rightly or wrongly) that in order to appeal to whites, they need a white lead because white people won't relate to a minority.
  • Precision F-Strike shows up in many movies whose producers had to fight for "PG-13" ratings, since the MPAA's rules on profanity mean that a movie arbitrarily receives an "R" rating if it uses the word "fuck" more than once.
  • In the Star Wars universe, Yoda remains an example of Inexplicably Awesome because George Lucas explicitly forbade Expanded Universe writers from exploring his backstory, or revealing anything major about his (still unnamed) species.
  • Product Placement is often the result of Executive Meddling, while some are done with the agreement of the filmmakers. Whatever reason, this trope brings more money to the production, which is often a necessity for covering the costs of filming.
  • Secondary Character Title notably shows up in many of William Shakespeare's plays that deal with historical monarchs and rulers. Because of the Elizabethan era's rigid social hierarchy, characters of higher social status had to set themselves apart from the commoners by speaking in verse, and plays always had to be named for the character of the highest social ranking—even if they weren't actually the protagonist. Examples include Julius Caesar (where the protagonist is Brutus), Cymbeline (where the protagonist is Cymbeline's daughter Imogen), Henry IV (where the protagonist is the young Prince Hal), and Henry VI (which is about the feuding English nobility in the Wars of the Roses). note 
  • Adaptational Modesty is practically mandatory in movie adaptations that strive to reach a general audience. Even if an actor is comfortable with appearing naked onscreen, extended scenes of full-frontal nudity pretty much guarantee a film an "R" rating, which makes a film much harder to market. Especially mandatory if a character is underage; while putting naked underaged characters in a novel or comic book might fly, it most definitely doesn't in a movie or television series, where (with a few exceptions) they have to be played by real underaged actors.
  • Two-Part Trilogy: When a work turns out to be particularly successful, executives often demand two or more followups to cash in on the success of the original, which necessitates writing one story that can be stretched over multiple installments. Conversely, when a writer gets an idea for a multi-part story, they usually can't get the later installments greenlit unless the first one turns out to be successful, which necessitates writing a first installment that can stand on its own.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and Daffy Duck are Enforced examples of Those Two Guys. When the production staff at Touchstone Pictures (an alternate label for Disney) went to Warner Bros. for permission to use Looney Tunes characters in their film, Warner Brothers only agreed to let them use the A-listers Bugs and Daffy on the condition that they both receive exactly as much screentime as Mickey and Donald, respectively. The only surefire way to honor that agreement was to have both characters share every scene with their Alternate Company Equivalents, with neither character appearing without the other.
  • Aladdin: The Return of Jafar enforces Technical Pacifist throughout; as a genie, Jafar can't kill anyone, even though his entire plan revolves around killing Aladdin for revenge... but he's able to find ways around it by relying on proxies and indirect assassination attempts where he technically doesn't lay a finger on Aladdin. Also, as he makes clear, just because he can't kill someone doesn't mean he can't hurt them.
    Jafar: You'd be surprised what you can live through...
  • The Amazing World of Gumball enforces Gentle Giant with Hector. Hector's mother always makes sure that he's extremely calm, gentle, and almost devoid of emotion (his diary reads "I must not laugh, I must not get overexcited, I must not shout, I must not sneeze.") As she explains, she does so to protect everyone else from him, because he's strong enough to effortlessly destroy all of Elmore and will do so if he has a fit.
  • Surprisingly, Vinesauce Tomodachi Life enforces Writing by the Seat of Your Pants. Since Tomodachi Life leaves many events and outcomes to the Random Number God, any number of plot twists and character traits are established with no real foreshadowing (for the most part). Since Vinny is livestreaming the game and can't save scum his way out of certain events, he ends up being just as surprised as the viewers are by them. Essentially, the series writes itself on the fly.

Alternative Title(s): Enforced