->''"Looks like everything's back the way it was! Which is the only way it should ever be."''
-->-- '''Marge Simpson,''' ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''

Within a work, particularly long-running series and franchises, almost ''nothing'' changes. If something does change, it's generally reset back to the way it was before very quickly.

This usually happens in a series with no overarching conflict or plot, although it is also the final stage of ExponentialPlotDelay, the phenomenon in which the plot of a serial story has totally ground to a halt. In either case, each installment of the series will open under virtually identical circumstances to the installment that came before.

Why create a static situation? The creators want the audience to be familiar with the characters and situation, without having to bother with such things as "what happened last episode". For example, they may use a [[ExpositoryThemeTune title sequence that tells us everything we need to know]], or, if the series has a serial plot, flashbacks, since ViewersAreGoldfish. Much like FailureIsTheOnlyOption, any changes ''at all'' are resolved with a SnapBack or ResetButton. And God forbid anyone change the status quo of the surrounding world. Another reason is that some TV shows will have multiple episodes written and produced simultaneously, and it's easier to keep every episode ending the way it began so one writer doesn't inadvertently contradict another.

This trope is especially true for cartoons, where networks want to be free to broadcast reruns in any convenient order or lack thereof. It's also very common in sitcoms, and as a result, there are plenty of {{Broken Aesop}}s created by the fact that, although characters [[AesopAmnesia have learned their lessons]] or attempted to improve their predicaments, nothing ever really changes.

While this trope can be used to help avoid ContinuityLockout where a work becomes inaccessible to casual fans it also be very difficult to juggle an unchanging status quo without gradually turning off your audience; characters and situations which never change tend to get stale after a while, and audiences can get a bit tired of seeing the ResetButton being pushed every time it looks like something might happen to change things.

Status Quo Is God can easily collide with HappilyEverAfter. Sometimes, a story simply can't have an ending that is both happy and maintains the status quo--thus, these two powerful tropes are in conflict with each other. When this conflict occurs, it's likely that the status quo will be maintained, and the ending will be less happy than it might have been if not for Status Quo Is God.

Status Quo Is God is usually the justification for a YoYoPlotPoint or an AgelessBirthdayEpisode. It has nothing to do with [[Music/StatusQuo the divinity of a certain rock band]], however.

NegativeContinuity is what happens when this trope is take UpToEleven- not only does nothing ever change, it doesn't even require an explanation InUniverse, the world just resets at the end of every episode. See also, AlternateUniverseReedRichardsIsAwesome, in which characters get a glimpse of an alternative universe where things have, in fact, changed.

Related to JustEatGilligan and UnConfession. For the opposite, in which a work changes dramatically over the course of its run, see NothingIsTheSameAnymore.

* ButtMonkey: Sometimes, when a character's unchanging status quo is played for laughs.
* CardboardPrison: Related to JokerImmunity described below; when not even a long prison sentence will last for a criminal.
* CartwrightCurse: Relationships that might change a character's romantic status quo don't last.
* ComicBookTime: Time stands still in-universe, despite the long progression of time in the real world. Gets extra confusing when real years and events are mentioned.
** NotAllowedToGrowUp: Characters don't age visibly. Especially noticeable with children not reaching adulthood, or adults not joining the ranks of the elderly.
*** AgelessBirthdayEpisode: A character has a birthday, but his or her age doesn't change.
* DivorceIsTemporary: When a married couple will not be separated forever.
* DudeWheresMyRespect: No matter how many times the heroes thwart villains and save the world, bystanders will act like it's the heroes' first time, and civilians won't display any admiration for them or give them any special treatment.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: If the success of the character implies a drastic alteration of the status quo of the series and/or the character itself.
* TheGoodGuysAlwaysWin: The near-universal rule that the bad guys must always lose. [[note]]Well, ''almost'' always; there are [[TheBadGuyWins rare exceptions]].[[/note]]
* IgnoredEpiphany: Whenever a character intentionally maintains their status quo.
* NegativeContinuity: Taken to its logical extreme, drastic changes happen but are quickly reverted by next time, without any explanation. Common in surrealistic works.
* NoOntologicalInertia: For some reason, destroying the source of something (like magic) will instantly negate any changes it made.
* PlotArmor: Main characters (usually main protagonists, but also main antagonists) are deemed too important to die.
** ContractualImmortality: When the actor's contract is still in effect.
** DeathIsCheap: When mortality can easily be [[BackFromTheDead reversed]].
*** TheyKilledKennyAgain: A comedic sub-trope of "Death is Cheap" and "Negative Continuity".
** DisneyDeath: Fake deaths are used in place of real deaths.
** JokerImmunity: When villains have the privilege of immunity from death as well.
*** ThouShaltNotKill: Because the heroes refuse to permanently eliminate them.
** LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt: When the viewer can easily predict that someone won't die due to their importance to the story.
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: Fantastic technology is only used as a plot device, and barely affects the lives of the unnamed masses.
* ResetButton: The status quo is reinforced by reverting any changes with a handwave.
* ShaggyDogStory: When the character's actions are rendered moot at the end.
** ShootTheShaggyDog: The same as above but not only actively tragic but rendering any-and-all accomplishments meaningless.
* SnapBack: Something happens to the character or the story, but it is somehow undone by the next episode without any explanation.
* StaticCharacter: Anyone who doesn't go through character development.
** AesopAmnesia: No one learns from their mistakes or remembers any lessons.
* StatusQuoGameShow: Sometimes winning a game show might affect the character's status quo.
* StrictlyFormula: When a series rarely (if ever) deviates from a standard plot formula.
* TrueLoveIsBoring: If the status quo of the character forces him/her to remain single or without a couple.
* UnstableEquilibrium: Competitors will always end with their same results if ContinuingIsPainful for the losers. [[note]] The winners always win, and the losers always lose [[/note]]
* VegetarianForADay: The diet of a character changes due to an event however they'll always go back by the next episode.
* StatusQuoIsGod/AnimeAndManga
* StatusQuoIsGod/ComicBooks
* StatusQuoIsGod/FanWorks
* {{StatusQuoIsGod/Film}}
* {{StatusQuoIsGod/Literature}}
* StatusQuoIsGod/LiveActionTV
* StatusQuoIsGod/NewspaperComics
* {{StatusQuoIsGod/Other}}
* StatusQuoIsGod/TabletopGames
* StatusQuoIsGod/VideoGames
* StatusQuoIsGod/WebComics
* StatusQuoIsGod/WebOriginal
* StatusQuoIsGod/WesternAnimation