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.
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
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: Crime Scene Investigation
episode, nor was Determinator
named from one of Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters
's Fake.com 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
Oh, and don't bother listing this page itself, as that will create a paradox
- Aliens of London — The Doctor Who episode's title refers to the Slitheen, who don't naturally speak with British accents in their true forms (only when they're disguised as humans and posing as British government officials). In their true alien forms, they don't speak at all.
- Acquitted Too Late — The Trope Namer is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, which doesn't actually contain an example of a character who is executed and then found to be not guilty after the fact.
- And Some Other Stuff — The Trope Namer is Burn Notice, which typically does include the full recipes for all the dangerous stuff they use. The line itself cut out the ingredient simply because it would not have produced as big an explosion as was shown.
- Another Side, Another Story — The title refers to a secret movie from Kingdom Hearts and doesn't actually have anything to do with the trope. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories has an example with Riku's "Reverse/Rebirth" mode, though.
- Batman Grabs a Gun — The weapon that Batman used to wound Darkseid in Final Crisis was an experimental alien weapon loaded with a single Radion bullet, designed specifically for killing New Gods—not the more mundane breed of firearm that Batman ordinarily refuses to use.
- 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.
- Bigger Than Jesus — John Lennon didn't say this.
- Bits of Me Keep Passing Out — Arthur Dent may have felt like crap, but he doesn't seem to have had any random body parts going to sleep. He did, however, have them disappearing at one point. Make of that what you will.
- Black Dude Dies First — Trope namer was a movie in which the black dude does not die.
- Black Metal — While the song by Venom contains many elements of Black Metal, the music and vocals are much closer to the style of Thrash Metal they would invariably influence.
- Blinded by the Light — Trope is specifically about blinding an opponent with bright lights for a combative advantage, which is irrelevant to anything in the original song by Bruce Springsteen (and, later, Manfred Mann's Earth Band).
- Blithe Spirit — Trope is an inspiring force upsetting the stuffy old status quo for the better. Neither the Noël Coward play, nor the movie remake, nor Shelley's 'To A Skylark' provide examples.
- Boom Stick — A staff that shoots stuff, named after This Is My Boomstick (which was originally referring to a shotgun), though one could say "boom stick" is a literal name for it.
- Brilliant but Lazy — Spider-Man is anything but lazy, he just appears to be as Peter Parker because he's spending too much time superheroing for his regular life to be anything but a shambles.
- Brooklyn Rage — Came from Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series making fun of the dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! giving Joey/Jonouchi a New York accent, but neither ever implied he was actually from New York.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S" — Has nothing to do with the closing announcement on Sesame Street.
- Catapult to Glory — Trope is named after a Darwin Award Nominated Tree Buchet accident.
- Caught Up in the Rapture — has nothing to do with Anita Baker's song, which is a traditional love song.
- Chained Heat — The movie the trope takes its name from has nothing to do with diametrically opposed characters shackled together. The film is actually just a Les Yay-filled Exploitation Film about a women's prison.
- A Child Shall Lead Them — The Bible passage in question doesn't refer to a child monarch.
- Church Militant — The Catholic Church defines the Church Militant as the Church on Earth, which is engaged in spiritual warfare, not physical warfare.
- Clothes Make the Superman — Superman doesn't get his powers from his clothes.
- Cue the Sun — The scene in The Truman Show where this line is said is not an example of the trope, but the movie itself does play this trope straight after the storm lightens up while Truman is out at sea.
- Daydream Believer — has no connection to The Monkees' song.
- Days of Future Past — about a type of future, not avoiding a Bad Future.
- Deliver Us from Evil — about a Heel-Face Turn caused by having a baby, not in any way related to the Lord's Prayer.
- Dem Bones — Only the connecting bones are mentioned in the folk song Trope Namer, but in source, Ezekiel 37, the bones are covered in flesh. They're also not Mooks, they're the resurrected and restored nation of Israel.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight — The song by Cutting Crew is referring to death as a metaphor for an orgasm, not literally dying.
- Different for Girls — The trope is about a gender-bent protagonist finding out that things are...well, different for girls, while the Joe Jackson song of the same title is about how dating and love is, well, different for girls.
- Do They Know It's Christmas Time? — The original song was a painfully provincial song by Band Aid about the then-contemporary famine in Ethiopia. The trope, eh, not so much.
- Everybody Must Get Stoned — Bob Dylan's song "Rainy Day Woman #12 and #35" is not actually about mind-altering substances, despite a huge Misaimed Fandom thinking so.
- Evil Is One Big Happy Family — An archfiend in The Order of the Stick says this sarcastically while revealing their plans to work against one of the comic's other villains.
- Florence Nightingale Effect — Florence Nightingale is a famous nurse, but there are no examples of romance between her and anyone under her care.
- Goddamned Bats — Raoul Duke never had to deal with difficult video game enemies, thankfully.
- Goggles Do Nothing — Ranier Wolfcastle was wearing safety goggles that just weren't enough to protect his eyes from a flood of acid. The goggles were not being kept on his forehead as a fundamentally useless or unnecessary clothing accessory.
- Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress — The Tick was complaining about gravity working all too well. Luckily he is Nigh Invulnerable.
- Great Balls Of Fire — Nothing to do with the song, fireballs or balls on fire.
- Grimmification — The Brothers Grimm didn't do that when they wrote their Fairy Tales. In fact, they Bowdlerised them quite a lot. It's just that the originals were so ripe with sex and violence, that even the new versions were still quite, well, grim.
- 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 Hater — The Little Rascals are too young to qualify under the trope.
- 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.
- I Am Not Leonard Nimoy — Named so as to be the inverse of I Am Not Spock. However, actor Leonard Nimoy is not known for having a public image or personality which overshadows the characters he plays; it's very much always been a case of the opposite.
- 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.
- 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 — While Ripley suggests nuking the site from orbit for this very reason during the scene that made Aliens the Trope Namer, it doesn't actually happen (or at least, not the way she probably intended).
- Knight of Cerebus — This is not how Cerebus the Aardvark did Cerebus Syndrome. It drifted in more gradually.
- Knight Templar — The Knights Templar were actually very tolerant of the Arabs, but propaganda and conspiracy theory said otherwise.
- Lucky Charms Title — The cereal is written with ordinary letters.
- 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.
- Luke, I Might Be Your Father — This trope is a sister of Luke, I Am Your Father. Luke Skywalker from Star Wars fits in that other trope, not this one.
- Luke, You Are My Father — Luke is again not an example. The trope inverts Luke, I Am Your Father.
- Machine Empathy — The trope makes it clear that it's not Technopath, but the trope namer is.
- Magic Bus — The bus in the song by The Who for which this trope is named is not itself actually magical—it's just an ordinary bus.
- Magnificent Bastard — Rommel was fighting for the Axis, but he doesn't really fit the trope.
- Man, I Feel Like a Woman — Shania Twain's song is about female independence, not men feeling themselves up after discovering that they've somehow become women.
- Mexican Standoff — The term originated in a 19th century newspaper as a metaphor to describe a political struggle for power in Mexico.
- Missed Him by That Much — A riff on one of Maxwell Smart's many catch phrases, but he never actually engaged in the trope himself.
- Most Annoying Sound — The scene from Dumb and Dumber doesn't qualify because it's not a video game or toy.
- My Horse Is a Motorbike — The meme from Sengoku Basara is just a regular horse that's been outfitted with handlebars and tailpipes.
- My Own Grampa — The titular song is about a man who is his own step-grandfather by marriage. The trope is far more literal.
- The Napoleon — The real Napoleon Bonaparte was of average height for his time. He appears comparatively short in paintings due to stocking his Imperial Guard with tall men.
- Next Sunday A.D. — Mystery Science Theater 3000 was inexplicit regarding the date and demanded too much suspension of disbelief for a few years one way or the other to cover up.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero — The trope-naming line is a lie that GLaDOS tells Chell in a feeble attempt to distract her from killing her. Chell destroys a vital part of GLaDOS' A.I. core, but GLaDOS tries to make her feel bad about it by claiming that it was a machine for making shoes for orphans.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Herod! — Jesus didn't come back to kill Herod.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed — The end credits of The Critic used the phrase after announcing out that celebrity voices were impersonated, not to note that characters based on Real Life celebrities have different names on the show.
- A Nuclear Error — The phrase's appearance in The Clash's "London Calling" is a reference to the partial nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island—not common factual inaccuracies about nuclear weapons appearing in fiction.
- Oedipus Complex — Though he did kill his father and marry his mother, Oedipus had no clue that he was related to either of them when he met them, and was thoroughly disgusted with himself when he found out. He killed his father in a chance encounter with him, and he was offered his mother's hand in marriage as a reward for saving Thebes from the Sphinx — he didn't hate his father, and he wasn't in love with his mother.
- Officer and a Gentleman — Richard Gere's character in An Officer and a Gentleman is most decidedly not an example of the trope.
- One of These Doors Is Not Like the Other — Sesame Street never featured a maze that could be navigated only by observing subtle hints.
- Open The Iris — Namer was a shield for the Stargate, not anything about someone's eye.
- Orwellian Retcon — Orwell didn't do this, and it's not clear that it happened in-story in 1984 either (but, then again, that's the point).
- Pac-Man Fever — The song is about liking the game, not about getting video game facts wrong.
- Pronoun Trouble — Daffy's trouble was with person, not gender.
- Red Right Hand — The trope refers to some odd physical trait that indicates someone is evil. The line from Paradise Lost is speaking metaphorically, and about God (specifically his punishments), who is not evil.
- Restored My Faith In Humanity — Akara means that her faith in the future of humanity (which is understandable to doubt with the demons running around everywhere) is helped by your actions.
- Rock Me, Amadeus! — The song is about Mozart, but does not have any Sampling from him.
- Scandalgate — "Watergate" was just the name of the hotel where the famous US political scandal mainly took place. While it inspired the use of the "-gate" suffix in almost all future political and media scandals, the Watergate scandal itself did not follow this convention and, thus, is not an example of the trope.
- Scourge of God, The — Trope is serial killers who kill sinners; Trope Namer is a nickname attributed to Attila the Hun.
- The Scrappy — Scrappy-Doo was hugely popular with kids when he was first introduced in 1979, and his introduction actually saved Scooby-Doo from cancellation when the show's popularity was waning. It was only in recent years (after the franchise was cancelled and revived) that the character became infamous for supposedly being hated by fans, largely thanks to a case of Vocal Minority.
- Shock and Awe — Destroying an enemy's will to fight with massive, overwhelming force doesn't have anything to do with electrical Elemental Powers.
- Shut Up, Hannibal! — No one ever tells off Dr. Lecter that way; if they did, he would eat them. "Discourtesy is unspeakably ugly to me."
- So Happy Together — The song gives no indication that the relationship will end badly, and it may not even have begun yet.
- Something Completely Different — Monty Python's Flying Circus rarely deviated from the formula, since the show didn't really have a formula to deviate from.
- Spell My Name with an S — The trope is about frequently misspelled names. This was the reason Isaac Asimov wrote the short story of the same name, but the story itself exemplifies For Want of a Nail and My Nayme Is instead.
- “Stop Having Fun” Guys — The trope namer is an xkcd strip where someone tells a bunch of Rock Band players to "stop having fun" because they are playing an instrument simulation game rather than real instruments. However, the trope itself refers to people who do play video games, but insult those who don't play as competitively as they do.
- Strong Flesh, Weak Steel — Trope is named after a belief held by Thulsa Doom from Conan the Barbarian, but actual flesh stronger than steel isn't present in the work.
- Team Rocket Wins — In the Pokémon anime and video games it was based on, Team Rocket or its corresponding Expy is always defeated, no exceptions.
- Timey-Wimey Ball — The actual episode of Doctor Who from which this phrase emerged ends in a perfectly reasonable Stable Time Loop. But the series as a whole is all over the place in explaining the perils and practice of time travel.
- Uncle Tomfoolery — There are two kinds, of which Harriet Beecher Stowe's hero is neither (presumably the name comes from how the character is often lumped into said categories through Common Knowledge).
- Unto Us a Son and Daughter Are Born — "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." The fulfillment of this was not part of a set of twins, much less fraternal twins.
- Voice of the Legion — While the Gerasene demon certainly inspired many of the examples, there is no indication that he spoke with a Reverb of Doom.
- The Walls Are Closing In — The trope name was inspired by lyrics lifted from the pre-chorus to the Linkin Park song "Crawling;" however, the phrase's use in the song is intended to be metaphorical and describe the narrator's nervous breakdown—not to convey that he's caught in a Death Trap where the walls literally close in and threaten to crush a character.
- We Hardly Knew Ye — The trope refers to a character who is killed off or otherwise removed from the continuity of a series before the audience can get to know them properly. The trope namer is the old Irish folk song Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye, which is about a soldier who returns home alive, but so maimed and disfigured that he is virtually unrecognisable.
- Whale Egg — The trope namer is an incident from The Simpsons where Ralph Wiggum mistaken a large, white isolation tank for said "whale egg;" it didn't involve an actual egg from an animal that doesn't reproduce that way.
- With This Herring — Trope namer is a movie's Impossible Task. Trope is a video game habit of giving starting characters no equipment but a quest to save the world.
- Xenafication — Xena never had Xenafication, because she is already Xena. Trope is about other characters becoming more like Xena.
- X Makes Anything Cool — Bender was referring to the word "extortion" (a normal word that's naturally spelled with an "x"), not to a title or phrase with "X" gratuitously added for Rule of Cool.
Tropes that were renamed
off this list:
- Actor Role Confusion — Originally "Your Secret's Safe With Me, Superman", after a line from The Simpsons that does not involve Superman or someone who played the character (which the trope is about).
- Anger Born of Worry — Originally "Fear Leads To Anger", Yoda never felt fear for Anakin's safety that presented as anger at his return.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed — Originally "Biggus Dickus". The mentioned character in Monty Python's Life of Brian engages in no sexual activity, and his anatomy is never discussed — it's just his Punny Name which is highlighted.
- Breakup Breakout — Originally "The Jannetty", referring to Shawn Michaels's tag team partner Marty Jannetty, who was actually a Lesser Star.
- Bystander Syndrome — Originally "Someone Else's Problem", referring to a weirdness censor in Life, the Universe and Everything that invokes this trope via Applied Phlebotinum.
- Impersonating the Evil Twin — Originally "I Am He As You Are He", after the opening lyrics of "I Am The Walrus" by The Beatles, in which the context of Lennon's words don't appear to be about this trope.
- Informed Equipment — Originally "Fight In The Nude", a game challenge in Diablo to fight without armor, not a failure to render acquired equipment owing to cheap graphics which is the trope.
- Intentional Engrish for Funny — Originally "Zero Wingrish", after the memetic intro of Zero Wing, which was the result of a "Blind Idiot" Translation and not an intentional choice (probably).
- Lesser Star — Used to define a group member (usually in bands and music outfits) who is superfluous. It was originally named "Garfunkel", but the duo of Simon & Garfunkel was well-known for their harmonies, and Art Garfunkel sang some of their most beautiful melodies, even if Paul Simon had a more successful solo career.
- Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow — Originally "Me Love You Long Time"; however, the prostitute in Full Metal Jacket was responding to purely economic forces rather than the soldiers' ethnicity.
- No Delays For The Wicked — Originally "The Trains Run On Time", a term used about Mussolini for whom it was never true.
- Ordered to Cheat — Originally "Sweep The Leg". In The Karate Kid, not only was "sweeping the leg" not cheating (and thus a viable strategy), there was a better example in the match before, where the same guy ordered another student to take Daniel out of commission, which he does by wrecking his knee...despite not wanting to cheat in the first place.
- Playing a Tree — Originally "You Are A Tree Charlie Brown", who had never been cast as a tree.
- Resignations Not Accepted — Originally "You Can Never Leave", a reference to lyrics from The Eagles song "Hotel California," which in the context of the song were about not being able to leave a place, rather than an organization.
- Romantic Plot Tumor — Originally "George Lucas Love Story", changed because most romance stories in Lucas films are not poorly written and absorbing most of the film, and his famous example might not be his fault.
- Skyward Scream — Originally "The Khan", referring to an infamous scene from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which didn't involve a scream using that precise presentation. Instead look for The Scream.
- Status Quo Game Show — Originally "You Can't Win", after an in-universe game show from Stay Tuned. The protagonists of the movie actually won on the game show, or at least survived it.
- Suddenly Always Knew That — Originally "I Know Kung Fu", refers to a character suddenly using an advanced skill that he/she has apparently always knew but never mentioned it before. The original trope namer, Neo from The Matrix, had to get an Upgrade Artifact installed.
- Translation Train Wreck — Originally "Do Not Want", which, while the bootleg the line came from is mostly an example, is merely inaccurate (an infamous translation of Darth Vader's Big "NO!"), not flat-out gibberish.
- Urban Legend of Zelda — Originally "Schala Lives" after rumors of Schala from Chrono Trigger living. Renamed when it turned out that Schala actually did live.
- Verbal Tic — Originally "Spoon Speaker", which The Tick's odd battlecry was not really.
- Wedding Smashers — Originally "Wedding Crashers", but the film version was non-violent.
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.
- 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.
- Every Car Is a Pinto — The real life Ford pinto did explode when collided. But it was onlt 1 model of Pinto that was affected, and not any others. Also it got fixed.
- 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".
- 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.
- Sprint Shoes — The Bunny Hood in Zelda was supposed to be this - but rolling is faster - but rolling too much made you dizzy in one game. In honor of being technically correct, just overshadowed, it remains an alt title.
- 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.
Mix of the last two: