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.
  • 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 vampire-ifed 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 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.
  • Kaleidoscope Eyes — We really don't know what The Beatles meant by that line.
  • 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):
  • And I Must Scream — The narrator's fate at the end of I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (when he utters the trope-naming line) fits every aspect of this trope but the immobility. He ends up immortal, blind, voiceless, trapped in a giant computer, and unable to commit suicide, but capable of limited movement.
  • Beware the Superman — The original book that Superman was based on had the character become evil. However, most versions of Superman are truly heroic.
  • Bigger Than JesusJohn Lennon didn't say this. He actually said they were "more popular than Jesus", and he insisted that it was a lamentation rather than a Blasphemous Boast (he found it ridiculous that the public got more enthusiastic about singing groups than about religion).
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment — The Trope Namer is a musical number in All Dogs Go to Heaven — an animated musical about Funny Animals set in New Orleans, where a singing alligator isn't out-of-place at all. And King Gator, the big-lipped alligator in question, reappears towards the end to take out the film's villain, thus having a profound impact on the plot. The musical number itself that is the trope namer, however, is a different story.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows — Named after one of Strong Bad's hypothetical designs for potential new looks Strong Mad could sport. Nobody in the work actually has large eyebrows.
  • The Cake Is a Lie — The last scene of Portal shows that the cake promised to test subjects actually exists, it's just that GLaDOS never intends to let them eat it.
  • Do a Barrel Roll — The "barrel roll" in Star Fox 64 isn't an actual barrel roll, it's an alieron roll.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto — The real life Ford Pinto did explode when collided, but it was only one model of Pinto that was affected, and later models fixed the issue.
  • General Ripper — General Jack D. Ripper of Doctor Strangelove is indeed insane, and he does indeed concoct a scheme to start a nuclear war between the United States and Russia, but he has almost none of the classic markers of the trope. Rather than being a loud, brash, jingoistic madman who gleefully sends his troops to die in battle, he's a quiet, soft-spoken man who successfully manages to hide his mental instability from everyone else in the military, and he spends most of the movie keeping his troops safely fortified in a military base.
  • Golden SnitchJ. K. Rowling has stated that it's common in professional Quidditch for a team to catch the Golden Snitch and still lose despite the point bonus, like what happens at the Quidditch World Cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It's just that the version Hogwarts uses has simplified rules and is significantly faster, thus the points won from catching the Snitch have much more weight.
  • I Am Not Shazam — Captain Marvel, the protagonist of the DC Comics series Shazam, was originally a rather infamous example of this trope note . As of DC's New 52 Continuity Reboot in 2011, though, he actually is named "Shazam".
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face — The trope refers to serious instances of damage being done by crass gun safety violations. The Pulp Fiction scene strictly speaking fits, but is clearly Played for Laughs, making it a much better example of Juggling Loaded Guns.
  • Leeroy JenkinsThe original Leeroy Jenkins did indeed rush in without listening to his team's plans, but that plan was so inherently flawed that it wouldn't have worked even if he followed it.
  • Long Pants — Whether or not Homestar Runner actually wears pants is inconsistent due to Rule of Funny, but his character design otherwise qualifies.
  • My Future Self and Me — Originally in South Park where Stan meets with his future self. This is not actually the case; it turns out that he was an actor hired by Stan's parents to keep him off of drugs. However, at the end of the episode, Cartman actually does meet his future self.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! — While the game itself contains many examples of this in the form of Stupidity Is the Only Option, when GLaDOS actually utters this line in Portal, it's a lie that GLaDOS tells Chell after she destroys one of her vital parts in the final boss battle in a feeble attempt to make her feel bad by claiming that it was a machine that made shoes for orphans.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place — Gordon Freeman is an example in the original Half-Life, in which he's an ordinary scientist who fights an alien invasion. In Half-Life 2 however, where the trope-naming line comes from, he's been deliberately dropped off by the G-Man at a specific time and place to achieve the G-Man's goals.
  • Rookie Red Ranger — The Power Rangers franchise includes quite a few Red Rangers who do indeed fit the trope to a T, but it should be noted that not all of the Red Rangers are actually the leaders of their respective teams (even if they are rookies). Standout examples include the second half of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (where the leader is Tommy the White Ranger) and Power Rangers Time Force (where the leader is Jen the Pink Ranger). note 
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money! — While Seto Kaiba is fond of using his wealth to buy himself out of situations in both Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series and the original Yu-Gi-Oh!, when he actually said this in the abridged series, he was just straight-up cheating in his Duel Monsters game against Yugi.
  • Some Call Me "Tim" — Trope is about someone with a very hard to pronounced name going by a shorter nickname. In-universe, we're not told why the enchanter from Monty Python and the Holy Grail goes by the name Tim, or if it's even a nickname in the first place. Out-of-universe, John Cleese ad-libbed the line when he couldn't remember the name he was supposed to use, but we don't know if difficulty in pronouncement is why he did so.
  • Sprint Shoes — The Bunny Hood in The Legend of Zelda was supposed to be this, but rolling is faster. In honor of being technically correct, just overshadowed, it remains an alt title.
  • Team Rocket Wins — At the time that the trope was named, Team Rocket never won. However, in the Pokémon Sun and Moon anime, Team Rocket did win a fight against Ash legitimately.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill — A more accurate translation would be "Thou shalt not commit premeditated murder". For example, The Bible does not condemn soldiers who are Just Following Orders, whereas the Thou Shalt Not Kill trope does.
  • Timmy in a Well — While Lassie often saves Timmy and the other human characters from danger, those dangers never involve wells.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong? — No specific Trope Namer, but whenever the phrase is actually said, Tempting Fate usually applies, and not this trope.
  • Where Da White Women At? — The trope-naming line in Blazing Saddles is just something that Sheriff Bart says to rile up some Klansmen so that he can lure them into an ambush, but the film does have an example of the trope with Bart's fling with Lili Von Shtupp. Still, even that part subverts it: Lili is just a professional seductress who gets hired to woo Bart, only to end up genuinely falling for him; by the time she does, Bart proves himself immune to her charms and leaves her.
  • Your Head A-Splode — The Player Character who blew up in Strong Bad's hypothetical video game had his entire body explode, not just his head.

Mix of the last two:

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