* Creator/WilliamShakespeare:
** He's Da Man and one of the most universal creative forces that there ever were. There is a reason ShoutOutToShakespeare is such a large trope and that his plays, characters and quotes are {{Trope Namer}}s.
** Some works of fiction would have you believe that he's the only dramatist who wrote plays and did theatre. His plays are the only ones ever written -- and then only a few of them ever show up. They're usually the tragedies, such as ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' and ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''.
** '''Very''' rarely, ''Theatre/{{Coriolanus}}'' will get a mention, but [[HehHehYouSaidX only for a laugh because the title includes "anus"]].
** ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'', aka The Scottish Play, is referenced sometimes, usually because of the curse. Some writers obviously like poking fun at actors.
** Any homage, parody, or reference to Shakespeare will be either [[Theatre/{{Hamlet}} the bit with Yorick's skull, or the "to be or not to be" line]]. Or both at the same time.
** ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'': "Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?", in which case 'wherefore' will be (mis)taken to mean 'where' and not 'why'. Don't assume the audience knows about the DownerEnding, though.
** "If you prick us, do we not bleed?" gets mentioned, but almost never as part of ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice''.
** The BandOfBrothers speech from ''Theatre/HenryV'' has been getting a lot of publicity, this could be due to [[Series/BandOfBrothers an acclaimed HBO miniseries]] having the phrase as its name.
* Creator/GeorgeBernardShaw might be brought up instead of Shakespeare, but only in reference to ''Theatre/{{Pygmalion}}'' and ''MyFairLady''.
* If the SchoolPlay isn't Shakespeare, it's probably Thornton Wilder's ''OurTown''.
* When it comes to TheMusical, the only creators brought up are RodgersAndHammerstein (mostly for ''Oklahoma!''), Creator/StephenSondheim (''Sweeney Todd'''s the only work of his that's specifically referenced), and Creator/AndrewLloydWebber (for ''Cats'', ''ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', and [[StarlightExpress that one with the roller skates]]).
* There have been only two circus companies ever: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (traditional) and Creator/CirqueDuSoleil (contemporary). And don't expect depictions of the latter to acknowledge that it presents [[CirqueDuSoleilIndex a variety of different productions]] and draws on an international talent pool -- it's almost invariably presented as a single troupe that only employs French/French-Canadian performers. If you're from the Greater Los Angeles (California) area, you can add Circus Vargas to the above list, and New Yorkers can add the Big Apple Circus.
** Only lion tamers ever? Clyde Beatty (the guy who invented using a whip and a chair) or Gunther Gabel-Williams.
** Aerialists? The Flying Wallendas (or maybe the Zacchinis, if you're at least a casual circus buff).
** Clowns? Pretty much just Emmett Kelly. (Bozo, Clarabelle, etc. don't count because they weren't actually circus clowns.) Grock and Oleg Popov to older people.
** Mimes? Marcel Marceau.
** Nude dancers? Creator/JosephineBaker.
** Sideshow performers? General Tom Thumb, Film/TheElephantMan, Zip the Pinhead (who inspired ComicStrip/ZippyThePinhead) or Chang and Eng Bunker (the "Siamese twins").
** Famous circus animals? Just Jumbo the Elephant (and when it comes to ''fictional'' circus animals, Mrs. Jumbo and Disney/{{Dumbo}}). Old Joe the Dromedary is only known indirectly, as the model for the camel on the Camel Cigarettes pack...and eventually for the most controversial advertising mascot in history, Joe Camel. And now that most circuses have phased out animal acts, probably the only place kids today can be expected to see them is on a Barnum's Animals cookie box.
** Magicians? Creator/HarryHoudini (never mind that he was an escape artist, not a magician). Maybe David Copperfield and Siegfried and Roy if you're lucky.
* Did Creator/OscarWilde write more plays than ''Theatre/TheImportanceOfBeingEarnest''? He did, and some are as hilarious as this one, and he also wrote a tragedy in one act, but it's just that Earnest is such a funny and MeaningfulName...
* There are only three French playwrights : Corneille, Racine and Creator/{{Molière}} - who all lived in the same century. Also, Corneille only ever wrote ''Le Cid'' ; never mind that it is fairly atypical compared to the rest of his work.
* Being a fan of ''Theatre/FiddlerOnTheRoof'' is a good way to establish a character's Jewish identity.

!! Exceptions:
* [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespeare]] both embodies and defies this trope - he put in a lot of references to very famous (in his time) figures, but also dug up some obscure things. He designed his plays to appeal both to the intellectuals and 'the groundlings'.
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