This Index Is Not an Example

Usually, the Trope Namer for a trope provides the one codifying example to define them all. Sometimes, however, a trope is named after something that isn't itself a good example of the trope — or isn't an instance of the trope at all. Sometimes the quote sounds nice but it is in the wrong context. Oftentimes the trope is a variation on another trope and receives a name based on it.

Be particularly careful when linking to such trope pages, because they might not be what they sound like at first glance. (Obviously, any YMMV entry with a specific Trope Namer could be an example in the eyes of some viewers but not others; and some have actually been renamed because of it.)

Not to be confused with Just for Pun or Snowclone titles. Also not to be confused with works that seem like the Trope Namer, but aren't really (Fur and Loathing was not named after the CSI episode, nor was Determinator named from one of Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters's Endings).

Then there are the tropes named after lines of dialogue that the Trope Namer never actually said.

Contrast Self Demonstrating Articles and This Trope Name References Itself. Compare Defied Trope and Non-Indicative Name. Also see This Image Is Not An Example. Is similar to Dead Unicorn Trope in the sense that both are about believing a certain trope is more prevalent than it really is, but is distinct in that these tropes have one specific moment that does not follow.

Oh, and don't bother listing this page itself, as that will create a paradox (specifically, Russell's paradox).


  • Heal Thyself — The quote in The Bible is a reference to how doctors can't heal themselves, or at least not very well.
  • He-Man Woman HaterThe Little Rascals are too young to qualify for the trope, and instead fall under Girls Have Cooties.
  • Horse of a Different Color — The horse in The Wizard of Oz is just a Literal Metaphor. The trope is about non-horse animals being used like horses.
  • Humanity Is Superior — Crichton doesn't really believe that (indeed, humans aren't special at much of anything other than heat tolerance in Farscape). But he was crazy at the time he said that line.
  • Hyde Plays Jekyll — This never happened with the original Jekyll & Hyde.
  • I Am Not Leonard Nimoy — Named so as to be the inverse of I Am Not Spock. However, actor Leonard Nimoy was not known for having a public image or personality which overshadowed the characters he played; it was very much always a case of the opposite.
  • I Believe I Can Fly: While the song by R. Kelly has been used in some media to describe characters who can actually fly, the intent of the song was to express a man finding inspiration after falling in love, and was not about the power to actually fly.
  • Insane Troll Logic — The Trope Namer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, referred to "insane troll logic" three times: first, a hero said it to an actual troll cruelly asking if he wanted his girlfriend or best friend to die; second, it was that same troll mocking the idea of altruism; and third, Buffy said it in disbelief to a vampified classmate psychoanalyzing her. All three of these usages are warped logic by twisted minds, but they are logical, not the kind of absurd and clearly erroneous leaps of illogic that Insane Troll Logic now refers to.
  • I Reject Your Reality — The trope is named for a line from The Dungeonmaster (later famously quoted by Adam Savage). In the actual scene it's a response to the villain saying "In a future reality, I shall destroy you!" and has nothing to do with the trope. Adam Savage definitely was using it in the sense of the trope when he popularized the phrase, though.
  • Isn't It Ironic? — Trope is using a song because one missed the irony in the lyrics. Trope Namer (Alanis Morissette's song "Ironic") cannot be an example because it does not actually contain verbal irony. The title refers to ironic juxtapositions of events.
  • It's Raining Men — Paratroopers have nothing to do with that song.
  • It's the Only Way to Be Sure — Ripley suggests nuking the colony from orbit to ensure the eradication of the Xenomorphs in Aliens, but it doesn't actually happen. Instead, the atmospheric processor on the planet explodes by accident.
  • Jerkass — The word "jerkass" was first used in the episode "The Joy of Sect" by Homer when he was driving towards the cultists saying "Outta my way, jerkass!". Homer himself started out as a mostly likable, well-meaning husband/father, and it was not until fans of the The Simpsons nicknamed his Flanderized self, "Jerkass Homer", did this adjective come to denote a jerkish character.
  • Kill It with Fire — The meme is about deletion of files, images, or articles, which never involves literal fire.
  • Knight of CerebusCerebus the Aardvark did not introduce Cerebus Syndrome via a character. It drifted in more gradually.
  • Knight TemplarThe Knights Templar were actually very tolerant of the Arabs, but propaganda and conspiracy theory said otherwise.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All — The name of this trope comes from an insult that Homer used to describe Lisa after she wrecked his barbecue in the episode, "Lisa the Vegetarian". While Lisa can definitely be a bit insistent with an "ideas above people" mentality, she is usually characterized as an authentic Insufferable Genius. Rarely, if ever, does she actually wrongly believe herself to be intelligent.
  • The Living Dead — The trope namer is any number of films about zombies, but the trope has nothing to do with them or any other undead monsters. It's about Special Effect Failure revealing that a corpse is actually being played by a live person.
  • Lolicon and Shotacon: Both "Lolicon" and "Shotacon" are misleading terms. Shotaro from Gigantor is not at all sexualized and, although Lolita does focus on the narrator's sexual attraction towards the title character, said attraction is portrayed in a negative light.
  • Lucky Charms Title — The cereal is written with ordinary letters. It's just that the marshmallow shapes called out in the ads could be used for this kind of title.
  • Ludicrous Speed — Speed that is so fast it drives you ludicrous, while the trope namer heavily implies that you'd already have to be ludicrous just to want to go that fast.

Tropes that were renamed off this list:

Partial Credit (including cases where the trope happens but not the way the name implies):

Mix of the last two:

Alternative Title(s): Trope Namer Is Not An Example