Game Within a Game: Too many to count, of literally every genre. Most have no effect on gameplay as a whole, however, unless you're really good at one - and even then, it requires extreme talent and luck, or an economy system that isn't completely broken. That fact doesn't stop many players to ignore the main game and focus on these minigames though.
Get On With It Already: Characters in Real Life can spend up to twelve years learning the background and physics of the world. Some additional skill trees take even more time to learn, depending on person to person.
Ghibli Hills: Some regions, but they are few and far between. And diminishing.
The Ghost: "She". Your character never meets her, but a lot of other characters know her, and she sure is talkative, and has an odd habit of Foreshadowing other characters' lines. She also says a lot of suggestive things, and apparently, many youth in the United States, especially young males, have had some sort of run in with her, being that most people will remember what she said at any given moment. If you ask who "she" is, you will be informed that she is, in fact, Your Mom. See also: "Them" or "They".
Glass Cannon: Humans are far from the toughest creatures on the face of the planet, but have invented powerful weapons to compensate for their poor defense. Thus, a human with a shotgun has a decent chance of slaying the 'bear' monster in a fight, but if that bear manages to take the damage and keep going, despite heavy penalties to movement and HP, then it can quickly wipe out the human who attacked it.
Global Currency: Massively averted. Almost every server has its own currency, although these can usually be exchanged.
The euro, one recent step toward a multi-server currency, is now (as of 2011) suffering a serious crisis because all the servers treated it differently.
There are proposals for a global reserve currency though, so this may become true sooner than expected.
Glory Days: There is a fan theory going around that this is what the Obama Arc was going to lead to in the United States' server. To most people, it was their childhood.
A Good Way To Die: Subverted. Dying pretty much sucks no matter how you go out. Even dying of natural causes is a downer.
Although, most players agree that dying in one's sleep is the most preferable. And anyone who commits a Heroic Sacrifice is usually hailed by the rest of the PCs.
Is it subverted? Dying sucks, but not everyone has to give into that fear.
GMPC: According to one Player's Handbook, one who was able to Fudge creation stat randomization (rolling a massive CHARISMA and HOLY /FAITH score), auto-critical Item Crafting and Swim checks, and ignore perma-death, more or less in that order.
God: The "author" mentioned elsewhere on this page, though whether or not he (or "He" according to believers) exists is a matter of dispute among the characters. Likewise some claim that the "author" is really a She or an It.
Some even claim that the "author" is really a group of authors working together.
Often subverted in a way due to the fact that the winner is usually labelled the good guy after the fact (and before, it is largely a matter of opinion).
Government Conspiracy: There are some unconfirmed theories and several confirmed ones throughout the ages. Many are extensively disproven.
Grand Finale: There is fan speculation on whether the series will end with one, but in the meantime many of the most memorable arcs ended with this. Probably the most recent would be the very popular World War II arc which ended with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki according to some but with D-Day and Hitler's suicide to others.
Groin Attack: A favorite of the female characters vs the males. It's actually just as effective on females, but it's not used so much the other way around, because of the "No Hitting Girls" thing. Oh, and males can do this to another males, mind you (and females versus females)
Groupie Brigade: Members of the Artist class and/or Musician subclass will be pursued for sex or relationships by members of the GroupieClass.
Not to mention that many players don't even get the chance to enter the School career path, instead being forced into the Work or War levels with inadequate preparation or just unlucky rolls in character creation...
Harmful Healing: People with the celiac's disease debuff hurt their intestines when ingesting gluten. If they stop eating gluten to heal themselves, their weight and cholesterol stats skyrocket. In a worst case scenario this my cause the diabetes status effect.
Have a Nice Death: A thoughtful obituary is almost a given. Some lucky souls even receive two or three post-death debriefings, with dramatic displays costing large amounts of currency. But unless beliefs about reincarnation are true, you only get to die once.
There's another bug in which NPCs have been known to publish an obituary for a player that hasn't died. This is particularly interesting, as players do not normally get to see their own obituaries.
Heart Trauma: Double Subverted. If your heart suffers physical damage, you'll lose HP and eventually die, but your personality is unlikely to change. Replacing parts of the heart (or even taking out the whole thing and putting in a pump) does not alter people in any way that would be noticeable without a medical exam. However, damage to the brain(!) may cause many of the effects normally associated with this trope.
Heaven: Different characters disagree on whether real life averts this trope or plays it straight. Those who believe it's played straight may disagree on whether or not it's a Fluffy Cloud Heaven.
Hell: Different characters disagree on whether real life averts this trope or plays it straight. Those who believe it's played straight may disagree on whether or not it's a Fire and Brimstone Hell.
Hero of Another Story: Every single player lives out his own story, so other players in relation to him is this.
Hide Your Pregnancy: Unfortunately, for some women, pregnancy isn't always a happy or desired time. Hiding a pregnancy from parents or anyone else comes with unfortunate consequences (e.g. death of baby, health risks of baby and/or mother).
High School Rocks: But only for those who manage to be popular because of good looks (usually), funniness and/or some respected talent. For others, high school is four consecutive Scrappy Levels.
Hikikomori: Some characters with low CHA stats and levels in the Social skill set will take this class.
His and Hers: While often parodied in television and film, numerous products of this type can be found in the world.
Hit Points: Averted. Life forms are too complex to sum up their vitals in a number, but many hospitals manage to condense a few properties to numbers; though it's not a true damage tracker, they do help to provide a useful status shot.
Another possibility: Time Travel is possible but so difficult and rarely managed that the only person or few people who secretly can do it are Nazi sympathizers.
Yet another version. When ever a person goes back in time, a parallel universe is made, and there's no way to get back. So if you go back in time and kill Hitler, there will be no Third Reich->Rocketry Programs->Electronics->Time Travel paradox because it's a totally separate universe.
Honest Rolls Character: Every single one. You get what you get. The character generator can absolutely screw you. A significant number of characters, perhaps as many as 40%, are killed by spontaneous abortions before finishing generation. If the character generator decides you should be born tall, good looking, brilliant, with a wealthy, loving family, an amicable personality, prodigious talent, and no diseases, so be it. If it decides to saddle you with a chromosomal abnormality, your mother's HIV infection, and a spinal cord that sticks out a hole in your spine, you get no reroll.
House Rules: Many groups of fans have come up with their own sets of rules for playing, some considerably more restrictive than others. The game may well be more fun without them, but they are convinced that following these extra rules is worth more points. Disagreements about these different play styles have led to many nasty Flame Wars.
Hub City: Several, though the main ones are New York, Moscow, London, Tokyo, Mexico City, Paris, Hong Kong, Washington D.C. and Berlin.
Whether or not a member of the military prestige class is proud of their status has a lot to do with whether or not they've had a chance to use their class features in a combat situation. Also, whether or not the Military class even is a prestige class depends on the server. In many servers, soldiers are forced into service.
I Fought the Law and the Law Won: If you commit serious and/or high-profile enough crimes, you'll suddenly find LOTS of law enforcement agencies will be out take you down any way they can.
Imaginary Friend: Many players will create another fictional character as a feature. This is most common during the first dozen or so years of gameplay.
Immortal Procreation Clause: Played straight with all species if infant mortality is factored in (a few long-lived species, such as trees, can reproduce in great numbers, but most of their offspring die young). If birth control is available, human birthrates actually drop as the environment gets more conducive to good health, maintaining the inverse ratio of procreation to life expectancy.
Infant Immortality: Averted: According to UNICEF about 25,000 children under the age of five are Killed Off for Real every day. In fact, the vast majority of animals die as larva or infants.
But if any PC does anything seriously bad to a child and gets caught it's going to be a very bad life for that PC.
Infinity+1 Sword: Again, the nuclear bomb. Restricted to people who hit the maximum Job Level for Politics, and with a lot of restrictions on it even then. That said, there are persistent rumors of bugs in the code that might allow unlevelled characters to gain access to assorted Infinity Plus One Swords. None have yet been demonstrated, but the rumors alone have made many in the fan base quite upset, especially a few seasons ago.
In Medias Res: At the start, there is a wide cast of pre-established characters and multiple fully developed conflicts and sub-plots with little initial explanation as to how they came about.
Any time a player moves, changes schools, jobs, clubs, etc they are typically started off In Medias Res. Expect a lot of info dumping.
LSD and other hallucinogen items can also lead to some nasty cases of Interface Screw. Alcohol's easier to obtain, though.
The straightest example: optical illusions. Alcohol and various other consumable substances may also cause these at suitably high concentrations - certain groups even deliberately classify and seek out hallucinogens so as to experience these effects more often.
Mental illness does this to the player. Normally, it's obvious to everyone but them.
A much more subtle form, one that is not even noticed by most player characters, comes in the form of cognitive biases.
Getting a short period of sleep at night can also have effects on the player.
Some players also have a "bad eyesight" trait that causes this. There are ingame items that can help fix this though.
In the Hood: Averted. In most environments, wearing a hood tends to draw curiosity, if not outright suspicion. If the local culture or weather makes hoods commonplace, a hood won't cause a character to stand out, but it won't make her any less noticeable, either.
In the Seattle server, there's a joke that locals can be distinguished from tourists by their reaction to the rain: tourists tend to grab an umbrella, locals tend to simply wear a hood.
Inventory Management Puzzle: Averted by a small number of people who take vows of poverty, but this is unusual and often considered deviant.
Played straight with shopping bags, holiday packing, and road trips.
Not to mention school bags, long-term camping and canoeing trips (especially with regards to food) and moving in to a smaller apartment.
Item Crafting: Features an extensive system tied in with the Tech Tree — so extensive, in fact, that a viable strategy for some players is to devote themselves to gaining levels in one particular aspect and selling their craftsmanship to other players. New formulas are being discovered all the time.
Izchak's Wrath: Enter a store selling gun items, choose the rob command, and what happens.
Jerkass Gods: A few people choose to blame god(s) and/or fate for how crappy their life is/was.
Joins to Fit In: Thousands of clubs exist for characters with similar interests to bond over these interests.
Killed Off for Real: Not just common, it's universal. Occasionally averted with last-minute desperation tactics, such as defibrillation and CPR, but no character can stave off Character Death longer than about 100 years.
Kill 'em All - Every single member of the cast has eventually been killed off, and there doesn't seem to be any change in the script anytime soon. A few characters have been rumored to have been Put on a Bus, including Elijah, Enoch, Jesus, his mother, and Apollonius of Tyana.
And persistant rumors that Jesus will make a comeback to the show soon, if you believe that sort of thing. If it's true then he hasn't been able to negotiate a contract as of yet.
He out-and-out said that he wouldn't try to re-negotiate, just come back when the studio CEO says he wants him back in.
Killer Rabbit - All animals (and people) fall under two categories: those that don't look dangerous but can kill or injure you horribly, and those that do look dangerous and can kill or injure you horribly.
Except rabbits, they can escape you, they can bite you, but they can't kill you... Unless you are a carrot or a moth... So it's averted.
Ironically, water is a key component for every lifeform in the entire series and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: So far, this has held true in Real Life, from slings and stones, to bows and arrows, crossbows and bolts, cannons and shells (and guns and bullets), and more recently, guided missiles. And in the future, mass drivers like railguns and Gauss cannons provide a logical path for even further advancement of kinetic weapons. Energy Weapons have also existed for quite a while, in the form of fire, and recently a couple of experimental lasers as well, but have never been so prominent.
Missiles are not kinetic weapons, they are explosive weapons. So are most tank-rounds.
The top-tier move "Rod From God" has been found in the code, but no one has unlocked it yet.
Kudzu Plot: So complicated, even the characters don't know what the hell's going on most of the time. Whether the author(s) do(es) themselves is hotly debated among the fans (apart from the issue of whether the author/s even exist). Entireacademicdisciplines are dedicated to making just a little sense of the storyline.
Laborious Laziness: Who hasn't torn their room apart looking for a missing TV remote control when they could just walk over to the TV and change the channel that way?
This is void, of course, for some "too modern" TVs that require the remote to operate on them.
Lensman Arms Race: Humanity's entire story arc has seen us go from crude rafts and sticks with sharp stones attached to nuclear weapons and space flight.
Evolution. The winners survive.
Parasitism. The game of move-countermove between parasites and disease-causing organisms and their victims is stunningly complex. Some players spend their whole lives in a class studying the defenses of one species, the human immune system, and all those players have to have very high INT stats just to get the class.
Antibiotics. Penicillins break cell walls. Beta-lactamases break penicillins. And we're off to the races.
Lethal Joke Character: A hairless biped with no fangs, claws, poison, or other natural weapons to speak of, incredibly long and dangerous physical development, poor muscle tone, a lethargic movement speed, no tough skin or thick fur, and no special defenses has achieved this status with nothing more than the ability for its thumbs to have oppositional movement and a large brain. Technology and a potentially limitless Tech Tree have given this race the chance to either unmake its world or survive its end. Ever notice every player reading this page has this character type?
Speed? Slow. Endurance, however, is not so lethargic. Apparently this character type has one of the highest endurances of all land animal character types. Few choose to cultivate this skill, though.
On top of that, each character has a name, backstory, and full set of continually developing (from birth to death) character traits. Every. Last. Character. Fortunately, you don't have to interact with, or even see, all of them.
Long Runners: 12,000 years of human civilization measured from the start of the Neolithic, with many Missing Episodes along the way. 13.7 billion years back to the presently held beginning though, the Big Bang, which itself could be questionable. Several other series set in the Real Life-verse were also Long Runners, such as some fan-favorites, including the dinosaurs and mammoths, who were Killed Off for Real, but some scientists speculate that they could be resurrected through inserting their genes into other animals. Whether this will work is questionable. Dinosaurs weren't exactlyKilled Off for Real. They've been having smaller, feathery appearances since before the Mammalian Order became prominent. And mammoth's smaller, bald cousin shows up from time to time. Others, like the arachnids and sharks, have been around far, far longer, and show no signs of stopping.
And of course, bacteria, some of the very first characters to appear, still make up more than half of the cast list.
Lost Forever: Too many to count, and there generally isn't a warning. The good news is that it's still possible to progress even without a Lost Forever item, and even when you can't, there are entire trades devoted to crafting and selling replacement items.
The Internet has a specific error code (410 - "Gone") for a site that is considered to be this.
Luck-Based Mission: If you pick the Gambler or Entrepreneur class, there are a lot of these that affect how much money you have. But at least they tend to keep you alive, unlike the Soldier class during wartime. However, if you have money, it's well-known that you can more easily turn luck toward your favor. To be honest, though, the entire game is like this—everything from finding a job to attaining fame to surviving the Plague.
Macross Missile Massacre: Favorite tactic of militaries across the world, heavily used in air and naval combat. Combined with nukes to make a superweapon called the ICBM, and the Cluster Bomb to make the awesome MIRV warhead. It's becoming less popular as newer doctrines become popular. Especially in light of recent developments in the manner of war.
Magical Realism: May or may not be explainable by the psychiatry profession.
Or the paranormal investigator class.
Magikarp Power: Thanks to a process called "Puberty", which begins the prestige class minigame, even the wimpiest young player can develop into a hardcore badass.
See that kid mutilating classic rock songs on his new guitar? Remember his name.
See that Troper over there? Remember his name too.
You know that nerd you always pick on in class? Someday he will be your boss.
Unless, of course, the one picking on that nerd realizes grinding mental, physical, and social stats are all possible in this setting and prevent crippling overspecialization.
A single group of players, thanks to the talent trees unlocked by thumbs with oppositional movement and large brains, could wipe dozens of servers out forever, maybe even eliminate every player in existence.
Make the Bear Angry Again: Recent seasons, especially the high-point in the Southern Ossetia arc in the middle of season 2008.
A Wacky Wayside Tribe of Arab nomads in-between Persia and Rome during the Ancient World arc go on to dominate half the known world (and invent another major religion) during the Medieval arc.
Dividing up the Middle East seemed almost like an afterthought at the close of World War One, but it has led to no end of headaches in recent seasons.
A handful of rebellious British North American colonies ended up establishing the Modern World arc's superpower.
The Japan server for the most part was concerned only with its minigame until around 150 seasons ago, then featured prominently in the World War II story arc and remains one of the more influential forces in the game today. Players on it insist it be kept to players who started out with it only, and constant PvP incidents have led to it causing friction with the other Asian servers.
The Many Deaths of You: Averted, in that death is usually one-time and permanent. However, there are a lot of different ways to do it.
Suffocation, bleeding out, decapitation, broken neck, cancer, drowning, heart attack, stroke, dismemberment, impalement, being hit by a car, Immolation (Burning to death), deadly predators, murder, suicide, AIDS/HIV, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, falling from too high a height, shock, crushed, being too hot, being too cold, lethal injection, and gassed. That is just the tip of the massive ice-berg that is death.
Meat Moss: Biofilm. There's also a cave formation known as "Snottites", which are long strings of Meat Moss feeding on toxic cave water. They filter out all the nutrients and water, and leave a drop of pure sulphuric acid to drip down.
Mega Neko: Lots! Lions, tigers, cougars, jaguars, leopards ... but they rarely make good pets.
Meganekko: Also well-represented. Glasses are popular enough that people wear them when they don't even need them.
Metaplot: An enormous number of independent stories exist in the Real Life universe, but metaplots about world affairs happen sometimes (such as the two worldwars and the Cold War).
Minigame: There's all sorts of these scattered around, but they require a fair chunk of in-game currency to play. Some of these even contain minigames within themselves! It's even possible for the player to take a path which allows them to design new mingames. You can learn about the tropes of these minigames here.
Min-Maxing: Largely averted, as the most successful people are usually those who have bothered to build up their Charisma alongside whatever technical knowledge needed, and a great many people who have focused on building knowledge at the expense of social networking haven't done as well.
For the most common objectives, this is true. However, there are plenty of alternate objective and victory conditions allowing for many different min maxing options.
Psychology, especially depth psychology (ie Freud and Jung).
Religion is this in the eyes of several players, leading to some joining the atheism or agnosticism character class.
Mishmash Museum: Under the terms of Henry Clay Frick's will, his New York mansion was made a museum (the Frick Collection on East 70th Street), but none of the paintings were moved or removed (nor were labels added); thus the works are arranged according to the robber baron's aesthetic sense.
The Science Museum of Minnesota has an entire exhibit designed this way on purpose. It contains a traditional Hmong house, an Egyptian mummy, a phrenology machine, a giant dead polar bear, and many prehistoric tools, among other things.
The Redpath museum in Montreal is home to several stuffed animals, fully articulated skeletons of Gorgosaurus and Dromaeosaurus, an Egyptian mummy, a seashell collection, a mineral collection, some trilobite fossils, a samurai suit of armour, a fossil of an aquatic lizard, Chinese shoes made for bound feet, charts showing the dinosaur family tree and the phylogenetic tree of all life on Earth, an anaconda skeleton, a Triceratops skull, a banner made out of human teeth, skeletons of two whales, a sea lion and a turtle and a giant origami pterosaur, all in about two and a half floors of space. In other words, it looks exactly, inside and out, like every natural history museum stereotype ever. It's awesome.note Oh, and it's appeared in Dinosaurs Decoded.
The Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford is a Victorian Anthropology museum with its exhibits grouped by function, so the cases of 'things used as currency' are next to the 'Things used as Armour', the Chinese pigeon whistles are near the Hawaiian feather cloaks, and the whole place is dominated by a totem pole. I'm pretty sure there is a secret 'Artifacts Of Doom' collection somewhere in here.
The Greybull Museum out in Wyoming fits this trope perfectly. it has taxidermied animals, historical artifacts, and fossils scattered all over the museums with no sense of organization whatsoever. A fossilized turtle shell is on the exact opposite side of the section with Coryphodon tusks and belimnite shells, both of which are opposite the corner with the sauropod femurs.
Hungarian Count Istvan Szechenyi once commented that the National Museum features his father's portrait between a snake and a crocodile.
Sir John Soane's Museum in London is another excellent example of the 1800s urge to collect all sorts of anything (medieval objects, large and small sculpture, books, stained glass, Egyptian scarabs, various gems et al.) and then just bequeath your whole house to the city of London to remain a museum in perpetuity. Sir John further distinguished himself by creating a catalogue of his holdings on three separate occasions (1830, 1832 & 1835). Thus, the building and its collection are amongst the best-documented in the world. And most importantly: the deal includes leaving all of the objects exactly where Soane placed them when he acquired them.
Hearst Castle, which is designed and furnished according to the, ahem, "eclectic" tastes of American newspaper billionaire William Randolph Hearst. Tourists think it's pretty; architecture buffs think it's horrifying.
Mistaken for Pregnant: Every woman of childbearing age is apparently pregnant when there's a sign of a full belly. One should never mind such possible explanations of bloating, gas, obesity/being overweight, eating a big meal, or any medical situation that does not involve pregnancy.
Money, Dear Boy: Some players would do anything just to get a lot of money.
Money for Nothing: Averted. There's just so much stuff to be bought with the in-game currency that you will never have too much money. Oh sure, the other players may say you do, especially indulging in Conspicuous Consumption, there's always charities to give that money to.
Mr. Imagination: Everyone is this to some degree, or 99% if you believe Rene Descartes.
Mugging the Monster: Happens to members of the criminal class who aren't careful in selecting their prey, especially if they mess with someone who possesses self-defense items, or invested in self-defense skills, or is of a prestigious class. Other players often find stories of said criminals' well-deserved misfortunes highly entertaining.
Multiple Endings: Every character has a different way their story closes, except for the very, very end.
Munchkin: the "Scientist" and "Engineer" classes, whose class abilities consist of memorizing the complex equations and rules that govern Real Life so they can squeeze every last possible advantage out of them, including figuring out even more of the rules. Unlike other munchkins, though, their work carries with it the potential for respect and prestige.
The "Theologian" and "Philosopher" classes also work along these lines and were the Trope Codifiers for the first several thousand seasons. In fact, the Scientist and Engineer classes developed from these two older classes and there was significant overlap until roughly 250 seasons ago. Theologians and Philosophers are still very common today. For minigames and some PvP events, the "Attorney" class is very useful (and also related to the others, although somewhat more distantly).
Stephen Hawking is a particular instance of this. After getting hit with a particularly bad Debuff that dropped all physical stats to near 0, he compensated by grinding his INT through the roof.