Gag Nose: The NPC Villagers are known for their Squidward-like hanging noses, enough so that many players simply refer to them as "Squidwards" and even Notch, the creator of the game, acknowledges that they look like "cavemen Squidwards".
Gainax Ending: After beating the Ender Dragon, you get an 8 minute long scroll of confusing text. It seems to be a pair of sentient cosmic forces discussing you, the player at the keyboard. The conversation implies, among other things, that Minecraft was All Just a Dream, life itself is a much longer dream, all the monsters you've been fighting are fragments of the darkness in your heart, and humanity is the universe's attempt at understanding itself. This is probably a Shout-Out to the Herobrine Mythos, a persistent Urban Legend of Zelda about a stealthy, undocumented NPC changing the environment (similar to the later-introduced Enderman mob), and one of whose propagators also posted a hidden message very similar to the ending scroll in content.
Game-Breaking Bug: Even though the game has (officially) gone gold, Mojang still outsources the majority of update beta testing to the playerbase, just because there's so damn many of them. Nearly every release contains something that just doesn't work, though it's generally fixed very quickly.
Several of these can do anything from deleting your best items on death instead of dropping you, forcing you to start getting resources again from scratch, to getting you stuck on the (unescapable) bedrock roof of the Nether or dropping you out the bottom of the world. Luckily, if you are stuck, you can set the game on Hard difficulty and let the hunger meter drain to empty and let the hunger kill you off.
It also has a bug where it will occasionally zero the level file (and the backup!) if the computer crashes, wiping your entire inventory and causing the game to not recognize the save unless you copy a level file over from another save (which causes other weirdnesses such as snow in the desert, due to the biomes being dependent on the world seed, which is stored in said level file).
The 14w26a snapshot is a possible candidate to the most bugged snapshot ever released by Mojang. Besides lots of minor bugs, the snapshot is infamous for permanently (unless using external programs) corrupting any world that was loaded into that snapshot, as well as having a big problem with chunk rendering. The biggest bug, however, happens upon entering the Nether: this snapshot is also known as the "double Nether snapshot". A glitch on Nether terrain generation will split the whole Nether into eight blocks wide strips, which alternate between normal Nether strips and strips full of air that goes all the way down to bedrock (fortresses can intersect these air strips, however, since structures use a different, non-glitched system). On top of that, crossing the bedrock layer on top of this Nether will bring you to a second Nether, just as bugged as the first one.
Game Mod: Minecraft has a large and enthusiastic modding community for everything from texture changes to full-blown gameplay overhauls. Go here for a comprehensive list.
Gameplay Automation: The game doesn't have any built-in automation, but it's easy for the player to build their own automatic or one-button devices to collect certain resources, up to and including "mob grinders" that spawn monsters, kill them and collect the loot all by themselves.
Automation is a frequent feature of many mods; Buildcraft, for example, provides machines to mine resources and pipes to transport those resources to your storage.
Mobs will not attack other mobs unless they hit each other, which can only happen when a ranged mob tries to hit the player. Even when this does happen, the mobs will wait until there are no players nearby before attacking each other.
On multiplayer servers, mobs still prioritize players over other mobs, but once they begin following a player they will not switch targets as long as that player is within range. This can lead to large groups of mobs following one player and completely ignoring others.
Gemstone Assault: Diamond swords are top-tier weapons. Other diamond tools (axes, picks, etc.) can also be used as weapons, with varying degrees of effectiveness.
Genre-Busting: It's like Legos, but with 3D 8-bit first-person graphics, ambient classical music, and vaguely survival-horror elements.
Genre Popularizer: Is very much like Doom in that while it was not the first sandbox cube building game, it was the first to make it big and inspire numerous clones and 'clones'.
Gentle Giant: The Iron Golems. They are neutral by nature and will go apeshit if anyone attacks them or a villager, but can be occasionally seen giving villager children a red rose.
Geo Effects: The game has various weather effects and day cycles. When it rains, the sky grows dark enough for some monsters to spawn in the middle of a field and the rain also extinguishes wild fires. Thunderstorms do the same thing, but make the sky darker and the lightning bolts can strike mobs for damage (including you), set flammable blocks on fire, change pigs into zombie pigmen, or make a creeper super charged for more explosive damage to everything. When it is daylight outside, monsters can't spawn and zombies and skeletons catch on fire from the sunlight. When night falls, all the baddies come out to play, making exploration in the fields more dangerous.
Similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, the landscape can be a hindrance or an advantage to the player. With enough height, you can strike mobs below you while they cannot reach you. If there's a huge drop off nearby, you can attack a mob and push them off a cliff for major damage or outright kill them.
Endermen simply hate the water. If they are outside when it is raining, they will teleport all over the place trying to seek shelter. Rainstorms are good if you want the Endermen to stay away.
Get Back Here Boss: The Enderdragon flies away from you as soon as you LOOK at it. Good luck trying to shoot it with arrows...
Ghibli Hills: The vast majority of the Overworld is absolutely pristine wilderness (at least until you start developing on it), and the player is encouraged to explore it as much as possible. The terrain generation algorithm can often produce some quite picturesque scenes.
Giant Mook: Giants are zombies that happen to be 12 blocks tall, have 50 hearts of health, and can one-shot unarmored players on Easy difficulty note 13 hearts of damage to be exact. On hard it's a staggering 37.5 hearts, enough to one-shot someone in full Iron Armor. Thankfully they were removed from most modes, but remain in the game's code (they can be spawned with the /summon command) so it's possible that they could be re-implemented.
One of the mobs. It's about half as tall as you, but they're the fastest mobs in the game, can often be found in groups, and are able to climb walls.
Cave spiders are less than half the size of the other spiders, but at twenty inches tall, they're still giant by real-life standards. Smaller is not necessarily better though, since their hitboxes are smaller (and they poison you on hit, so missing is painful).
Jeb_ posted a screenshot◊ suggesting we may end up with bigger spiders, too.
Give a Man a Fish...: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll stand at the top of a cliff, whisk pigs off the ground, and snipe them out of the air.
On the subject of how incredibly addictive Minecraft can be:
"I have heard [Gabriel] suggest that the game is crack, but it's more like all of the ingredients and equipment that you need to make crack, which I'd say is worse."
Global Currency: Emeralds are accepted at all Villages, which is odd considering how Emeralds can be mined in Extreme Hills biomes, but Villages spawn in several other biomes, so where did they get them in such large quantities? In multiplayer, servers rarely bother to designate an official trading currency (unless it's a roleplaying server) due to inflation and the fact that players will just trade goods for goods anyway.
God Mode: The creative mode is sometimes referred to as "God Mode". You can fly and have access to the complete inventory including things you can't get in survival, like eggs that spawn mobs. In addition, the only way you can die is by falling into the void and even then, you can survive if you enable flying quickly enough.
Gold Makes Everything Shiny: Subverted: Sure, you can make a sword out of that gold you just mined. It'll be roughly as effective as one made of wood and break about as quickly. On the other hand, using iron...
Gold armor looks pretty and shiny, but the protection they give is not much better than leather armor and it breaks just as fast. However, gold armor is still better than having no armor at all.
Gold armor and gold swords have their weaknesses compensated by having a much higher chance of getting strong enhancements compared to other tools made out of other materials, making gold based items a Glass Cannon.
Three words: gold-plated food. Golden Apples are one of the most coveted items in the game, being used to make horses breed, cure zombie villagers, or give the player not only several drumsticks' worth of hunger satisfaction, but also regeneration for a short time. A twice-plated ("enchanted") Golden Apple also grants fire resistance, damage resistance, and a limited feather-fall effect. Golden Carrots are also used to breed horses, or give the player regeneration, and are used in potions of night vision. Glistering Melons are pretty much only used in potion-brewing, and aren't edible.
Golem: The game has iron golems and snow golems that the player can build. A snow golem looks like a snowman with a jack-o-lantern for a head, and it distracts enemies by throwing snowballs at them. Iron golems can be found in large NPC villages, where they defend villagers from zombies at night.
Good Bad Translation: You have the option of translating the text into almost any language. The languages are named only in that language (Spanish is Espanol, etc.) and only in that language's alphabet. The languages are listed in alphabetical order of said names. This is where the problem comes in. The Hebrew word for Hebrew transliterates as "Ivrit." However, Hebrew is listed under "H" in the list, and it instead says "Anglit," which, besides not starting with "H," is the Hebrew word for English.
Grandfather Clause: When it was announced that version 1.8 would drastically overhaul the villager trading system, it was also mentioned that any pre-existing villagers with more than one trading offer unlocked would retain all of their offers.
Grappling-Hook Pistol: The fishing pole isn't meant for this purpose, but it has the ability to stick to mobs and when you yank the reel back, the mob is dragged to you, making it extremely handy to drag flying mobs like Ghasts and Blazes to you so you can whack them with your sword, or hook the line to a mob across a cliff and yank the line to make them fall in the abyss or even a lava pit.
G-Rated Sex: Breeding in Minecraft differs a lot from breeding in real life.
The game lets you rob treasure from pyramids in the desert. Pyramids spawn in sand biomes; they have treasure inside them. Each pyramid can contain things like gold, iron, diamonds, bones, and rotten flesh, but they're also guarded by TNT traps that trigger if you step on the pressure plate. Doing so will destroy all the treasure and kill you.
Ditto jungle temples, taking a page from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Jungle temples have arrow traps that are triggered the moment you walk through the linked tripwires or destroying the wire itself. The only safe way to disarm the trap is to use shears to cut the wire. Luckily, you can just stand on one side of the hall to avoid the arrows and just loot the dispensers of their arrows. Jungle temples also have chests that contain similar treasure from the pyramids.
Gravity Barrier: Subverted: sheer face cliffs exist that are impossible to traverse...that is, until you mine some steps in them, or use a water bucket to make an impromptu elevator out of a waterfall.
The Greatest Story Never Told: Single Player is essentially this, until a new update anyway, when there are actually mobs that recognize your deeds.
Green Rocks: Redstone, a red dust that's commonly found deep underground. It can be used to make a compass, as well as a clock. Mix some into a potion and it lasts longer. Not to mention the fact that it can be used to make a wide variety of logic gates and digital circuits.
Green Thumb: Step 1, get a skeleton bone. Step 2, create bone meal. Step 3, watch as bone meal turns a 2x2 square of jungle tree saplings into a thirty-block high tree instantly.
Grid Inventory: Actually an important part of gameplay, since the Crafting system uses a 2x2 grid (self) or 3x3 grid (Crafting Table).
Game focused on creation plus multiplayer equals obvious. Some servers will allow it, maintaining that it is up to the player to protect their own creations. Those that don't nearly always ban the placement of TNT or magma and the usage of flint and steel, for their heavily destructive power.
Creepers themselves are an in-universe griefer. Their only purpose in life is to kill you or at least destroy the structures you put a lot of effort into building.
Guide Dang It: Minecraft in general. The game deliberately contains no instructions. You aren't told how to make tools or other crafted items, nor are you told using a bed changes your spawn point after you die. Without an external guide, you are left to stumble around, randomly trying combinations of things in the hope that some of them produce a useful item. Fortunately, the Minecraft wiki covers everything you could think of and then some. The mobile and console versions dispense with the crafting grid and simply show you everything you can make, the Xbox 360 version eases this slightly by show you what items are needed to craft other items and what their functions are; they still don't tell you what you are supposed to do, though. Some mods add in-game recipe books and similar guides.
Hammerspace: The items in your inventory, and where items placed in an Ender Chest go.
The grid inventory allows the player to carry (and swim with!) up to 2304 cubic meters of stone, or 44'470 metric tons of gold, which equals 1.7 times the weight of the Titanic.
Even more if you consider the fact that chests can store just as much as the inventory. You can tear down a mountain and carry half of it with you, then stash the other half in a chest that takes up less than a cubic meter of space.
Taken Up to Eleven with the Ender Chest. Ender Chests even work across dimensions, making it possible to transport items from one realm to another and destroying the chests won't destroy the items! Any item that is placed in one of these chests can appear in another Ender Chest no matter how far away the chests are or they're in completely different dimensions! On top of this, even if every Ender Chest placed in the world is destroyed, the items will still be in the hammerspace of the chest once you make a new Ender Chest. And if you carry an Ender Chest in your inventory...
Harder Than Hard: Hardcore mode, which is the same as Hard mode, but when you die, your world is permanently deleted.
Hard Mode Perks: Harder difficulties increase the frequency of monster spawns. This also means increased frequency of Random Drops, allowing you to gather materials such as gunpowder from Creepers, bonemeal from Skeletons and Ender Pearls from Endermen faster than otherwise.
On easy mode, Villagers don't come back at all on death. Villagers have a 100% chance of turning into a zombie when killed by one in hard mode, but Zombie Villagers can be revived back to normal villagers.
Have a Gay Old Time: Inverted. On the console versions, the text entered onto signs is run through a profanity filter and if anything is detected, the whole sign is censored. For some strange reason the words "hoe", "shaft", and "monster", while having dirty modern connotations, will still censor out the message even though these are common innocuous things in the game.
Have a Nice Death: Dying on a multiplayer server produces a humorous announcement on how you died, such as "[player] blew up" and "[player] fell out of the world".
Head Pet: The mod Mo' Creatures includes bunnies that will hop onto the player character's head if the player character approaches them.
Healing Potion: These can be made with some water, netherwart, gold, and watermelon. Another variety made with ghast tears will steadily regenerate your health.
Heart Container: The Absorbtion effect, which increases your maximum health by 2 hearts per tier level. The effect is only temporary; once the effect wears off , all the extra hearts vanish. They also won't come back if you get hurt too much.
Health Boost, on the other hand, features regenerating extra hearts. They still dissapear when the effect runs out, though.
Using NBT data editors, equipment can be changed so that they give extra hearts to whoever wears them.
With the Anvil and the use of spawn eggs in Creative mode, you can give any mob a unique name.
The 1.6 update also added Name Tags (which still have to be given a name via Anvil), which give the same effect as the above method, can be used on any mob without the need of a spawn egg, and the item can only be found inside dungeons, by fishing for treasure, or by trading emeralds with villagers.
Hidden Depths: If one trope could be used to describe Minecraft as a whole, it would be this (and no, not because there are literally hidden chasms in it). Everything looks pixelated and blocky and simple. Everything is simple, until you realize what you can do while playing around with things and there's several systems that add new depths to the game once discovered (Enchanting, Brewing, Minecart rail systems, Nether networks, etc.) Especially when it comes to stuff like all the things you can do with such simple devices as those powered by redstone.
Hide Your Children: The game lets the player kill not just villagers, but villager children and baby animals as well. You can even sic zombies on villager children so that they become children zombies!
Hit-and-Run Tactics: Before sprinting and knockback-enhancing enchantments were added, the standard way to kill a creeper with melee weapons was "hit it, then step back out of it explosion-triggering range for a few seconds, then repeat". It's then become possible to run at them, knock them out of range, the do it again without much fleeing.
It is possible to harm yourself with your own arrows, either by firing them upwards, having them recoil off an enemy currently experiencing Mercy Invincibility, or simply outrunning your arrows, which got much easier when bows became hold-to-charge instead of instant-fire.
Furthermore, tamed wolves will fight to the death against any creature that harms you. You yourself are not exempt from this rule – if you manage to shoot yourself with an arrow, they'll try to kill you. Talk about adding insult to injury (and also, a whole shit load of additional injury).
This can happen to the skeletons as well, if you have another hostile mob in the way, the skeleton will be attacked by it if its own arrow hits the mob. Skeletons can even duel each other if one were to shoot another. It's also the only way you can get records.
Ghasts love to fly out of range of your arrows and shoot fireballs at you that aren't affected by gravity. It's possible to kill them by hitting their fireballs back at them. There's even an achievement for it called "Return to Sender."
Splash Potions cause an area-of-effect radius. They have a really short range compared to other projectiles, so throwing one at point blank is bound to get you in the radius too.
This is especially the case in custom maps where players are given a whole stack of the things.
One Game Mod introduces the ability to use elemental arrows, such as Ice Arrows, Exploding Arrows, Fire Arrows, and Lightning Arrows. Lightning can supercharge Creepers. Do the math.
Or, for a more literal take on this trope, if you set off TNT and don't get far enough away from it, you may be blown into the air.
Hollywood Darkness: Mostly averted. The player can technically make out shapes in even the darkest of underground caverns without torches, but only just. However, the light during the nighttime never drops below full moon brightness, even after the update that gave the moon phases.
Hollywood Torches: Aside from lighting a limited range, torches play this straight. They burn indefinitely, and the smoke is purely cosmetic, posing no risk of fire, suffocation, or smoke discoloration. Torchlight can even be used to help crops grow.
As of Beta 1.8, you can find torches in abandoned flooded mineshafts that still burn nicely.
Keep in mind it's one of the Acceptable Breaks from Reality, as it was originally planned for torches to go out and for lasting light fixtures to be more complicated, with all existing torches planned on being converted to the new item on patch.
The joke Version 2.0 previews created for April Fools' Day 2013 implemented the torches burning out as one of the many "features". Each torch would go out after a random, short amount of time and could be relighted with Flint and Steel or taken down and replaced.
Horse Jump: Horses are being added in version 1.6, and have been available for testing in the weekly snapshots. With the right horse, it is possible to jump gaps and obstacles previously unthinkable without much effort. It's only a matter of time before equestrian events are designed and organized.
How Do You Like Them Apples?: The game sports both regular and golden apples; the latter will heal you fully and grant regeneration for half a minute.
Human Resources: The game has a subtle example: Zombies and Skeletons both drop useful items. Skeletons in particular drop bones, which are useful as fertilizer, while Zombies drop Rotten Flesh, which is less than ideal for proper meals but is useful in a pinch. Both of these are implied to have once been human, especially the Zombies, which have an appearance that's almost identical to the default character skin. Additionally, Rotten Flesh gives the player a temporary Hunger effect when eaten.
The Halloween update allows players to build a portal to "The Nether", a hellish underworld where every step you take translates to eight steps in the normal world. If you enter through one Hell Gate and leave through another, you'll find yourself displaced eight times further than you traveled within The Nether. It's a very useful shortcut, if you don't mind the fact that the place is full of steep cliffs, lava lakes, and ghasts. Where the terrain isn't covered by lava it consists of either a red rock that readily catches on fire or a quicksand textured with screaming faces. The entire dimension is inhabited by herds of zombie pigmen and flying jellyfish who spit exploding fireballs that tear up the landscape and set the rock on fire.
A later update adds another portal which leads players to another dimension called "The End", a dark world which consists entirely of a single Floating Continent suspended over an endless void, inhabited solely by Endermen and a single Ender Dragon.
Notably, the End becomes a lot less scary once you realize that 1) a simple bow with a sufficient quantity of arrows will keep you safe from the Dragon as you gradually reduce his health, 2) Endermen are effectively inert if you're wearing a pumpkin, 3) you can farm them in very efficient structures that'll level you from zero to level 30 in less than a minute.
I Call It Vera: Snapshot 12w41a introduced the enhanced item repair system that has naming your tools, armor, and weapons possible at the expense of several experience levels. This can also apply to non combat based items.
If you're really desperate to restore your hunger bar, you can eat the rotting flesh of slain zombies. It'll give you food poisoning, but it could still save your life.
There's also an instance of indirect cannibalism when you use bone meal to grow your crops. That's human bone you're using.
Implacable Man: As long as healing crystals are intact, the Ender Dragon is unstoppable. If placed in overworld, it can fly right though anything that's not Obsidian, End Stone or Bedrock. Still feel secure in your cobblestone home?
Creepers normally drop gunpowder, which makes sense, but if they're killed by a stray arrow from a skeleton, they drop a music record. Guaranteed. Zombie Pigmen may drop Golden Helmets, despite the fact that they are never seen with the helmets on.
Zombies also have a rare chance of dropping carrots, potatoes, or iron ingots, which makes a bit more sense if the zombie is an infected villager.
Improbable Weapon User: While swords and bows (and tools) are the only practical weapons, it is theoretically possible to beat a monster to death with a torch, bed, or a pumpkin. or a '''block of dirt'''. Best of all, items without durability don't even get damaged by using them as improvised weapons. See the Improvised Weapon entry below.
To hell with theoretically; if it's in the game, it's been done.
Even better is that the cactus blocks deal extra damage due to being a cactus...
Improvised Golems: The game allows players (and sometimes Endermen) to build Snow Golems out of blocks of snow and Iron Golems out of blocks of iron, topped off with pumpkins for heads.
Improvised Weapon: ANYTHING you pick up can be used as a weapon, even blocks of dirt and pork chops. Anything that isn't a pickaxe, sword, axe, or shovel does 1 heart of damage only, but you can still kill any enemy with any item obtainable in the game.
If you're fighting a mob with anything other than a sword or bow, this is likely what you're using. You can beat zombies down with axes, mining picks, shovels, blocks of stone, blocks of dirt, blocks of sand, blocks of wool, flowers, hunks of grilled pork meat, fish, doors, ladders, furnaces, minecarts, glass, mushrooms, diamonds, eggs, paintings.... Most of these are no better than your bare hands, but the standard tools do better (though not as good as a sword), and some of these are surprisingly effective against certain mobs, such as snowballs against Blazes.
Zombies, Zombified Villagers, and Zombie Pigmen can pick up any objects floating on the ground to use as weapons. That piece of Rotten Flesh you threw away a moment ago? Another Zombie's here to bludgeon you with the flesh of his former comrade.
Industrialized Evil: Of course with "mob farms" or "xp farms", which are all centered around the idea of breeding, trapping, and ultimately killing massive waves of living mobs with little effort on the player's part so the player can gain experience and cool loot. You Bastard.
And AKTAnote as in "ACTA" means "to avoid", and PIPA means "loud and squeaky sound". Both in Swedish too.
Insistent Terminology: Notch has said via his twitter that the Minecraft default player's name is "Steve?," not "Steve."
Instant 180 Degree Turn: Fortunately, you can turn around quickly if you get attacked from behind. On the flip side, monsters can do the same.
Instant A.I., Just Add Pumpkins: The player can build snow or iron golems that wander around, attacking monsters. How do you get a pile of snow or iron to come to life and move independently? Give it a pumpkin for a head. Sure, why not?
Instant Roast: Any chicken, pig, or cow will become one or several cooked pieces of the appropriate meat if burned to death.
Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: You can now build them yourself. They're the same height as a regular block, but you can't jump up on them without first using another block as a step. That's because they count as being 1½ blocks high in character collision checks (yes, that also means you're half a block above the fence if you're "standing" on it), and you jump just less than that.
Interface Screw: The 'Wither' status effect acts as a more lethal (read: can actually kill you) but briefer poison effect, and also turns all your hearts black to make it much harder to tell how much you have left.
Putting a pumpkin on your face does this by restricting your view of your surroundings to only the eyes and mouth on the pumpkin's face, and blocks off the rest of it. It makes for effective protection against Endermen - it mostly stops you from looking directly into their eyes and angering them.
The "Super Secret Settings" for the 1.7 update also have these effects, which are picked at random. One such effect turns your screen upside down and laterally inverts it, another adds high-speed motion blur to your movement, and yet another inverts the colours of your surroundings on your screen.
In the Nether and The End realms, Clocks will just cycle through day and night really fast due a lack of daytime cycle and Compasses will just have its needle spin around erratically due to a lack of spawn point. Maps will also not work in The End and just show static-like particles though they do work to limited degrees in the Nether.
In the Doldrums: All maps have an upper and lower Void. The upper Void is simply the sky in the overworld and the End, while in the Nether it's the open space 128 meters above the bedrock ceiling. The lower Void, in all dimensions, is an infinite drop into black oblivion that kills entities (including players) that go past y-64.
In-Universe Game Clock: One complete daily cycle, from sunrise to sunset to sunrise, lasts for 20 minutes. This means that time is compressed at a 72:1 ratio (72 Minecraft days equals one real-time day). The time of day has dramatic effects on gameplay: nighttime is when the monsters come out. Daytime is when they burn. As you can imagine, being several miles away from your house at sunset is not a good idea. There are also moon phases.
Inventory Management Puzzle: The player has 36 slots for items (27 inventory slots and 9 hotkey slots), plus four for armor. While this may seem generous, you'd be surprised how quickly that gets filled during mining expeditions and such. Furthermore, part of your inventory will be dedicated to necessary survival equipment (food, light, crafting material, tools, etc.). A properly managed inventory can mean the difference between making safe trips back to base and finding yourself fighting off a horde of creepers and zombies with your bare hands.
Invisibility: Potions of invisibility will make your skin invisible, but not your armor or any item you are holding. This means if you want true invisibility, you have to walk around naked so that mobs can't see you (but they will ignore items you hold). For PvP servers, invisibility also hides your name tag, making sneak attacks much more effective. And yes, you can also use the splash version of the potion on a Creeper for an invisible mad bomber.
Invisible Anatomy: When you're not using your fists to punch something, the item you're holding is just floating in front of you.
There are glitches and hacks that let you place two separate types of these. Invisible blocks work just like any other block, but you can't see them, playing the trope straight. Intangible blocks, on the other hand, only interact with other blocks while the player passes through them just like air. The second block type is very useful for making elevators and other special redstone machines the player must pass through.
The game recently added the "Barrier" block, a completely invisible and indestructible block as a tool for mapmakers. Parkour maps just got a lot more trolly...
Item Crafting: With a drag and drop inventory, and a 2x2 or 3x3 craft slot depending on how you're doing it, you spend pretty much 11% of the time doing this.
Item Farming: The villager trading system. Villagers can sell better weapons and tools for you for Emeralds, you get Emeralds by trading items to them or mining. Wheat, paper and charcoal are the easiest to farm emeralds from, as they are derived from renewable resources.
Item Get: A nod to the Trope Namer exists. Every time you get an in-game achievement, the achievement pops up on the screen with the caption "Achievement Get!"
It's a Wonderful Failure: Death in Hardcore mode. The game doesn't automatically delete your world. It sits you at the game over screen until you manually activate the deletion process.
You cannot respawn in hardcore mode! (Delete world)
Joke Item: Any item can be held, though only tool help in a fight. It's not uncommon to "tickle" things to death with a feather for fun.
With the enchantment system, you can turn any item into a Lethal Joke Item. Want to attack zombies with raw fish enchanted with Smite V? You can.
The golden sword and golden armor set plays the trope straight; the gold sword isn't any stronger than an iron sword and the gold armor isn't any stronger than iron armor, but the gold counterparts wear down twice as fast as leather armor and wooden swords. They, however, are the best for enchanting purposes.
The Joys Of Torturing Mooks: With enough creative planning, you can make traps with water, lava, cacti, or natural gravity to kill mobs of all kinds, friendly or hostile, as you watch them helplessly flail about to their deaths. With a bit of trial and error, you can make a trap that leaves them barely alive so you can kill them with your bare hands and gain experience.
Just Add Water: Crafting is a crude form of pixelated drawing with crafting materials. No actual labor required. Even complicated items like a clock can be made by merely putting the materials together in a vague clock-like shape. To put it simply, a clock and a compass can be made using the same configuration, except the clock requires gold whereas the compass requires iron.
The Endermen, sometimes. Its ability to pick up certain blocks means that eventually you will find one carrying a flower. With both hands, like it's afraid it'll damage it. Just don't look it in the eye . . .
This is an effective tactic to kill mobs from a distance, lighting the ground on fire and having them walk into it.
You can also place blocks of wood or, even better, coal to use this tactic in places that aren't normally flammable, such as caves.
Flint and Steel can ignite enemies. If they were already damaged or not near water, they will more than likely die. If you want to kill non-hostile spiders without them retaliating, you can ignite the ground below them, and they'll take damage without recognizing you as the source. Fire as a whole is more or less lethal, unless you conveniently dug into water and lava at the same time.
Inverted with the Ghast: It's immune to fire and will in turn kill you with exploding fireballs that you can reflect.
When livestock is killed in this fashion, the meat it drops will already be cooked.
Blaze powder, gunpowder, and coal can be combined to make a fire charge. This item can be used like flint and steel to start a faster-spreading fire, or you can load it into a dispenser to launch fireballs.
Endermen are, in addition to fire and lava, weak to water. Leading them to a pool of water or exposing them to a rainstorm will damage them, though they're not stupid enough to keep standing there after taking one hit.
Prior to 1.8, this was the standard way to farm slime balls; since slimes couldn't swim, a drowner trap was very effective against them.
Also four doors arranged around a block of water suspended above a stone pressure plate, topped by any solid block. Mobs walking on the plate will cause the doors to lock them in. Trapping them with their head in the water, unable to get out. Once they die the pressure plate is released and the trap reopens to visitors.
King Mook: The Elder Guardian is this to the Guardians.
Kleptomaniac Hero: Being a game with simular gameplay mechanics as Terraria, it shouldn't come as a surprise that stealing whole structures is doable here. Certain types of blocks can only be obtained through either Creative mode or mining them from pre-generated exisiting structures.
Ladders are subject to all kinds of weirdness. They seem to simply slow your fall when you occupy the same square as them, and move you upwards at the same rate when you move against them. This means, among other things, moving into a ladder square while falling at terminal velocity will instantly slow you, and it's possible to mine a block while facing away from the ladder you're on. This reaches ridiculous levels when you realize, with a bit of luck, you can place a ladder segment while in freefall, and instantly cancel your momentum with it.
Also, neither water nor lava can exist in the same space as a ladder, leading to shenanigans where a ceiling made of lava lights up a room, but won't actually fall down into it because it's afraid of invading the ladder's personal bubble.
Spiders can climb up vertical walls, but any overhangs can stop their progress. Ladders, which barely have any width at all, can block a spider's climbing as well as a 1x1x1 cubic meter stone block can.
Lamarck Was Right: When dyes were added, you could colour sheep and recieve more wool. Breeding two sheep will pass on their (dyed) colour to their children and will even regrow dyed colours of wool. Since the colour passed on to the child is selected at random, you can use one lapis lazuli to create an entire flock of blue sheep, since Minecraft animals have no set gender and can reproduce with any other animal that isn't juvenile. Say goodbye to hoarding your lapis!
Lamprey Mouth: The squid has one of these. It's much toothier than would be realistically expected, although the squid itself is completely harmless.
Land Mine Goes Click: TNT + pressure plate = landmine. And if you want to get complicated, you can even rig trees so that they set off TNT when cut down.
Last Note Nightmare: The game actually features one of these. In the record "11", all that can be heard is the sounds of what could be a man loading a gun, or simply shifting around in his chair. For the most part, it's a quiet song, devoid of any music and comprised absolutely of ambiance. Near the end, however, the music abruptly shifts to the man walking down a path, then breaking into a run. As the music builds, we hear some type of inhuman noise roar at the man before it abruptly cuts out, switching to a soft beeping noise before going completely silent.
Lava Adds Awesome: You can collect and use lava in constructions, either as an exotic light source, a trap for intruders, or an incinerator for junk. If you're not careful, it can easily kill you or ignite wood nearby.
The Lava Caves Of New York: Due to the randomly-generated nature of the game, it's fully possible to encounter an NPC town with a cavern full of lava just underneath or an open lava lake right next to it.
Lava is Boiling Kool-Aid: The game has lava flow much more slowly than water to simulate its greater density. Lava's not fatal if the player can escape quickly enough, but it is very painful. However, even more pain occurs when one dies in lava: everything you had on your person is irrevocably incinerated. It also causes any wood in short distance from it to start burning and ice to melt, but it can (or at least could) be blocked by using snow blocks. It provides natural light as well.
Lava Pit: Mostly underground, but occasionally one boils up to the surface.
Ledge Bats: Skeletons; be especially careful when fighting them near pits...
LEGO Genetics: Minecraft's dyes are so powerful, they can re-sequence sheep DNA. Dyeing a sheep causes it to permanently produce wool that color, and pass the color to its offspring.
Le Parkour: The game has entire adventure maps centered around this, up to and including at least one Assassin's Creed themed map. You can also try it during a normal game, though it's notrecommended.
Continuing the proud tradition of fishing rods in this role is, well, the fishing rod. Normally, it's used for just that—casting out into a body of water and flinging in a fish when it bites (or, if the rod has the Luck of the Sea enchantment, maybe something else more valuable). Most players wouldn't even bother using it for anything else. But suddenly, a whole new world of possibility opens up when the astute player realizes that it doesn't just reel in fish, it reels in ANY creature. With practice, a player atop a wall can heave up monsters into sword range and with a quick switch, slash the unfortunate on his way back down to fall-damage town. The cherry on top? Even Ghasts are affected, which can be used to pull the elusive flying buggers closer so they can't avoid your hail of arrows.
Snowballs can be thrown at mobs to knock them backward, but don't actually deal any damage, except against blazes and the Ender Dragon. Even then, they're much weaker than arrows, and the faster rate of fire is offset by the short range. Most people wouldn't even consider bringing snowballs into the final battle against the high-flying boss, whose immense health is daunting even to players with diamond swords. However, the snowball's knockback actually stuns the Ender Dragon for longer than it takes to throw another snowball. As a result, one of the easiest ways to defeat the Ender Dragon is to lure it into its normally unstoppable charge, then pelt it with a steady stream of hundreds of snowballs.
Snowballs can also be immensely useful on certain challenge maps that consist of nothing but an island or two in the sky. Throw a couple, and suddenly that creeper's plunging off the edge to its death.
Chicken eggs also provide the same effect as the snowballs, minus the ability to harm the Blaze.
Lethal Lava Land: The Nether. There are full-blown oceans of lava, lava falls coming from the ceiling, more lava falls sprouting from random walls, and with the 1.5 updates there are even pockets of lava hidden in the walls, just waiting for you to stumble upon them. Oh, and the same update doubled the flow speed of lava in the Nether. See Oh Crap further down on this page.
Let's Play: If the autocomplete feature is any indication, this is the most popular game to LP on YouTube - and that's not counting tutorials, walkthroughs, demonstrations of building projects and servers, etc.
It's also one of the most popular games to stream, to the point that 1.7.2/1.7.4 introduced Twitch streaming support.
Experience gained by killing mobs gives experience levels. Although these are pointless for the first part of the game, once the player obtains diamonds they can make Enchantment Tables. These allow weapons, armor, and tools to be enchanted with special abilities, such as reduced damage from use, extra damage when attacking monsters, protection from certain types of damage (explosions, fire, water, fall, etc.), and increased item drops. The problem is that experience gained from monsters is worth much less at higher levels, and dying makes the player lose almost all their experience. As a result, even with structures built specifically to spawn and damage mobs automatically, it can take days to get enough experience for the best enchantments. Made worse by the Random Number God deciding what enchantments are received, which can absorb large amounts of exp only to give a common, less useful enchantment or even ignore up to one quarter of the experience (but still take it) when calculating which enchantment will be given.
This has been rectified by recent updates, as now far more activities (such as farming, mining, smelting ores, cooking food, and fishing) all reward the player with experience, and books can now be enchanted, and anvils can be used to fix items without the loss of the enchantments, and merge enchantments. In addition, villagers now sell experience bottles, and books with enchantments can be found in dungeons. Of course getting some of the enchantments is still a Luck-Based Mission but at least you can avoid spending 30 levels on a diamond pickaxe only to get Unbreaking I.
Level-Map Display: There's a Map item which you can craft to keep track of the world you explore.
Like a Badass out of Hell: When the player enters the Nether and leaves alive, moreso after fighting his way through many Nether mobs.
Like Cannot Cut Like: Singular example: Golden Pickaxes cannot mine Gold Ore - all other non-wooden pickaxes can mine the ore they're made of, but gold, true to Real Life, is exceptionally weak.
Lily Pad Platform: Lily pads can be collected from water in certain biomes. They count as a half-block like slabs, making them excellent for covering water source blocks in farms and such.
Literal Genie: The game's creator falls into this occasionally. Fans begged Notch for a way to ride animals, so he created saddles, which can only be found in dungeon chests. This saddle can be placed on a pig, allowing you to ride it. Unfortunately, due to Notch's sense of humor, the pig continues to wander around aimlessly, since most of the fans were asking for a way to ride animals, but didn't specifically say anything about being able to control them. Fortunately, Jeb later introduced a method to steer pigs with the carrot on a stick.
Loads and Loads of Loading: Zig-zagged. Loading the game itself is pretty quick, barring any updates, but the time it takes to load a map is proportional to how much of it has been explored and the overall size. There's also loading times when switching between dimensions.
Understanding how the game is coded (as documented by many inquisitive individuals) can lead to this. For example, Village population counts depend on how many houses (with doors) a village has. Since the game defines a "house" as a door exposed to sunlight that has the interior (side the door leads into) one more block covered than the exterior, you can just place a door then a block of dirt on its interior side and the Villagers will treat it as a house.
Iron Golems are coded to attack players that harm Villagers using anything that's held in the hand, including bare fists. However, this doesn't include Villagers hurt by "natural" causes, so it's possible to just kill them by suffocation, drowning, or falling without repercussions from their protectors if you want new Villagers for their offers (or just feel like being a terrible person).
Collecting the Ender Dragon egg requires exploiting the behavior of certain items and gravity. You cannot touch the egg directly without it teleporting, but it is affected by gravity, and a torch will convert any block that falls onto it into a collectible item. Pistons work, too.
Killing the Ender Dragon nets you a lot of experience and the purely decorative Dragon Egg. It can only be collected in a certain and rather tricky way, and if accidentally touched it will teleport in a spot at random, potentially falling off the floating terrain the fight took place on and being destroyed by the Void. You can't fight the Ender Dragon again.
Many guides stress the role of renewable resources, as while it's possible to expand one's range of exploration to find more non-renewable resources, they will eventually run out if the player stays in the same zone.
Forest map setting in classic, obviously. Likewise, the Forest and Taiga biomes in the full game.
The Halloween Update introduced the forest biome, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, as well as the rare rainforest biome. True to the trope, undead creatures will take refuge from the sun by hiding in the shadows of the trees during the daytime.
And now with the new biomes the Roof Forest plays even more into this trope, with giant Black Forest-inspired oak trees, little sunlight on the ground, and giant mushrooms!
Enchanting. You place an item and are given three lines of gibberish representing your options. The more levels you spend, the better the enchantments may be. Adding bookshelves (to a max of 15) raises the level requirement but also improves the enchantments you get. However, the basic mechanics aside, the actual results can vary from awesome to extremely disappointing. You can put in one item and get three nice enchantments, only to put in an identical one and get a comparatively useless one. You can't control what enchantments you get, only increase the likelihood of said enchantments being ranked higher.
The enchanting system was made more practical/less annoying with the addition of enchanted books in 1.5.1. However, enchanting books is not any less random, and in fact, gives an even wider range of enchantments because they can be used on any tool. Luckily, you get to choose which weapon/tool/armour gets buffed by whichever enchanted book you own.
Trading with Villagers: Depending on how Lady Luck favors you could end up with a bunch of Villagers offering some terrible trades, some decent ones, and some really good ones (items that are otherwise very rare)... or just a bunch of terrible ones. Some get a Priest to start selling Eyes of Ender after only a few trades, some have 8 Priests running around their village that still don't offer the darn things.