Dad the Veteran: Very, very often Truth in Television - in many countries, the military is one of the biggest employers and/or the employer of last resort for those who cannot get a job elsewhere or qualify for benefits but do meet military standards, and some such as Israel, South Korea, and Singapore have mandatory universal military service, so there are a lot of military veterans if not actual combat veterans.
Dan Browned: Happens far more in Real Life than in fiction. Fictional creators who make shit up almost never get called out on it. There are many hoaxes still alive today thanks to this.
Dance of Romance: Sometimes, people do fall in love after dancing with each other. Even people who had no previous romance. Happens with professional dancers and figure skaters, among others.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: A small portion of real criminals are actually like this. Organized criminals such as The Mafia and the Yakuza are almost always this - most successful members try to avoid the actions that make them visible and therefore arrestable to patrolling police such as traffic violations or buying/selling drugs out in the open. (The majority of criminals are equally split between Stupid Crooks and people who are just ignorant of/don't really care about the law or proper behavior around cops and are easy pickings.)
Dark Is Evil: The greatest majority of street crime happens at night in urban areas, and after a certain hour in many urban areas, particularly mid-size urban areas, the only people out on the street (as opposed to being inside somewhere working, playing, or sleeping) are criminals. The less lighting at night a particular place has, the more likely crime is to occur there. In colder areas of the world and colder times of year, most hypothermia deaths are at night because night is the coldest time. Most fire deaths and carbon monoxide deaths are also at night, because most non-nocturnal people are sleeping and without an alarm, won't awaken before it's too late. Finally, some criminals (especially of the overdramatic teenage or overwhelmingly mentally disturbed varieties) will cite everything from heavy metal music to dark poetry to Satan as reasons for why they committed some horrible crime.
Dark Is Not Evil: Goths, metalheads, and/or others who tend to wear a lot of black and indulge in things more mainstream society would consider "dark" are no more likely to harm you than anyone else - and most of the aforementioned teenage and overwhelmingly mentally disturbed criminals mentioned above are not considered cool or welcome in such communities. note (For example, people who destroy occupied property or kill someone's pet have, in most forms of Satanism, transgressed against another person's domain, which is one of the worst things you can do in the belief, to the point of absolving the person transgressed against if they kill you. In many forms of Paganism, inflicting harm upon other humans or animals is considered to bring three times the harm you caused back on you. So people who kill humans or animals or vandalize in the name of "dark" belief systems are usually incredibly failing their own "beliefs," and the majority of people in them are not doing so.) Night is, in the desert during summer or in deserts that are hot all year round, the safest time to travel - temperatures are lower, there is less risk of sunstroke or dehydration, and one can actually sometimes see further than on a bright day if the moon is full. Also, while there are more street crimes at night in urban areas, daytime is actually the most risky for burglaries of homes and property, because burglars assume people will be at work or away in the day and home at night.
Dark Shepherd: Sometimes police officers have to take this role, though too often it ends in Police Brutality and no one's better off. The point of military occupations, even "peacekeeping" ones - invoking the monopoly of force with the equivalent of "stop killing each other or we'll kill you all" to force unity until deeper bonds of trust and authentic unity can (hopefully) form in a more idealistic peacekeeping mission, or to hold the enemies together in some sort of uneasy peace until it all falls apart again in more cynical situations. Religious leaders take this role too, to varying levels and varying effect. Parents commonly take this role in dealing with unruly children.
Date My Avatar: Increasingly common, to the heartbreak of many and the injuries of quite a few.
Date Rape: Unfortunately. Acquaintance rape, as it is more properly called, is actually the most common form of rape, and depressingly, the one hardest to prosecute even though most acquaintance rapists are also serial rapists - the odds of it being even reported are lower than that of stranger rape involving weapons, for example, and if reported, the odds of it being pursued and the rapist being convicted are low still.
Date Rape Averted: Fortunately, this happens too. One of the more promising efforts in reducing the amount of acquaintance rape is a dual effort to educate men on what acquaintance rape is (to both make sure it doesn't happen by accident AND remove the excuse of "I didn't know" from the serial rapists using it as a modus operandi) and to encourage everyone to not fall victim to Bystander Syndrome and, if they see a potential acquaintance rape situation setting up, to simply separate the people involved.
D-Cup Distress: Large breasts can hurt or cause back problems or other physical difficulties. Due to a nasty Double Standard, women with large breasts who aren't in fields related to physical appearance can find themselves taken less seriously. Finally, for people who are female to male transgender or neutrois/agender/genderqueer, large breasts make completely passing as male or being genderless difficult to impossible, and many persons who are FTM or agender/neutrois opt for surgery, as do cisgender males who developed breasts due to drug side effects or obesity.
Deadly Decadent Court: Common in the days of royalty, still Truth in Television in the more corrupt corners of politics, finance, business, anywhere you have elitist individuals congregating and forming nepotistic to the degree of incestuous self-serving relationships and at the same time getting into internal politics. If you've been in some fandoms or internet communities, you've likely seen it on a very small scale. These tend to overlap with Drama Bomba lot, for reasons that should be obvious.
Dead Artists Are Better: Still Life: Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers, a picture by Vincent van Gogh, was never bought when he was alive. In 1987, almost 100 years after his death, that same picture was bought for Â£24,299,562 ($39,921,750) dollars in an auction at Christie's. This trope also applies to musicians, in part explaining the ongoing popularity of everyone from Elvis to Amy Winehouse.
Deadly Doctor: Biological weapons creators - who use their knowledge of medicine to create deadly viruses and bacteria.
In a less horrifying example, Dr. Kevorkian and others who use medical knowledge to assist suicide.
Deadly Gas: The amount of chemicals belonging to that category are just too numerous to count. Even oxygen itself can be one in some circumstances.
Death by Childbirth: Unfortunately. Less often than in the past in the Western and Westernized world, still happens. Happens far more frequently in areas where mothers have little or no access to qualified medical help or to infection control.
Death by Woman Scorned: Has happened - some people do get so absolutely enraged over being cheated on that they resort to murder, either of the adulterous partner, of their new lover, or both.
Death of the Hypotenuse: Has happened in a few instances. Rarely, a situation like this is actually planned for: a dying partner with a terminal illness will encourage a Love Triangle or non-monogamous relationship, out of wanting to remove the pain of beginning a new relationship and the doubt of "would he/she approve" with express approval and encouragement.
Death Seeker: Terrorists, unfortunately. Suicidal people in general. Occasionally someone who is terminally ill is this, especially if the illness is one that will eventually take away their mind/ability to communicate rationally, such as Alzheimer's or similar. Was also the case with AIDS before antiretroviral therapy - some patients sought suicide or hoped to die before the final stages of the disease set in, sometimes allowing an early infection to become fatal in hopes of dying from pneumonia instead of overwhelming cancer or brain involvement.
Decade Dissonance: Compare Hong Kong to the Guangdong province just over the border, or downtown Rio de Janeiro to its slums. Compare ANY inner city to the gleaming, tourist-laden areas. North Korean refugees frequently say that coming to South Korea is like stepping through a time machine (to be fair, most Westerners would probably say the same thing about Seoul).
There is a tiny island off the coast of Scotland, St. Kilda, where the seas are so choppy and rough, that few people dare try to sail to and from it. People have lived there for centuries. The government sent an expedition there in about 1746 to see whether Bonnie Prince Charlie had taken refuge there after the Battle of Culloden. The locals hadn't heard of Prince Charles Edward Stuart—nor of King George II either. George I had been their king for twenty years.
Decisive Battle: Some wars have been decided by specific battles and the winning/losing of them, and/or the response of the militaries/nations involved to the win or loss.
Deep Sleep: Some people are definitely heavier sleepers than others, especially if drunk or drugged. The reason fire alarms and loud alarm clocks exist.
Defcon Five: Except, in Real Life, it is Defcon One (though Three is when you really need to start paying attention to what is going on in the world/the potential conflict, and Two is when you need to start making the plans for what you're going to do if it happens) that you have to worry about as it is the state of war or attack. Five actually means peace.
Defeat Means Friendship: Some former combatants in wars become close allies. For example, Germany and Japan are both US allies after World War II. England and France, despite having one the most bitter historical rivalries in history, are allies now. Denmark and Sweden have had more wars between each other than any other nation and they're the closest allies possible. On a more personal level, some people need to argue or physically fight to develop respect for someone, and once the person proves to be a Worthy Opponent, they become a friend.
Defector from Decadence: Yes, people have defected from regimes or resigned from positions because business as usual was just too repugnant for them. Fritz Haber, after finding out the disfiguring effects of chlorine gas, and then being told by the Nazi regime to fire all his Jewish employees (he himself converted and avoided punishment), fled to Switzerland. Let's just say he and his family didn't have a happy ending.
Defensive Failure: A lot of people do this for very good reason - the decision to risk killing another human being, even if they are trying to kill you, is a very painful one for most people who are sane, non-sociopathic human beings and who haven't had military or police experience. It's also why Weapon for Intimidation is a bad idea.
Delegation Relay: Else known in English as "passing the buck," because no one really wants to do some chores or run some errands.
Denied Food as Punishment: Concentration camps in Nazi Germany and North Korea, in which the highest death rates were (or in North Korea's case, are) from starvation. And some parents really do consider starving the kids a form of discipline. In a more benign sense, a child being denied junk food for bad behavior.
Depopulation Bomb: The Toba supervolcanic eruption, which reduced the entire human population of the world to under 8900 people. To put that in perspective, any modern mid-sized urban area has to have at least 10,000 residents. The entire planet was reduced to a small town's population.
Depraved Dentist: There's been a few cases of Real Life dentists sexually assaulting unconscious patients, and others doing fraudulent or unnecessary work (especially on low-income children on Medicaid and, conversely, in high-income privately insured patients) to make money, even if said work makes the patient's oral health far worse. And the Ur Example of the Deadly Doctor, Mad Doctor, and all similar tropes, Josef Mengele, started out as a dentist.
Derailing: Examples abound around the internet, but it's a too-common way of silencing people in meatspace as well. The Abomination Accusation Attack and Appeal to Force and Appeal To Worse Problems actually work even more effectively in meatspace conversations, because, for example, someone who's just been even wrongly accused of being a pedophile or a Hitler supporter is going to be confused or upset, someone being threatened with violence will usually shut up, and the overwhelming guilt of feeling like one's problems are little often is effective as well. All three of those actually work less well on the internet.
Deserted Island: All around the world. And not just in tropical regions as in fiction, but in temperate and polar regions as well.
Designer Babies: Some people have tried for this throughout history, to varying degrees of success.
Despair Event Horizon: In Real Life, increasingly found to be the reason most people who commit suicide do - because the physical or emotional pain (or both) has, for the time being, exceeded any ability the person has to live with or cope with it. Most people who consider or even attempt suicide are not "crazy" and some are even hyper-rational, and have simply crossed this Real LifeDespair Event Horizon. The goal of successful suicide prevention in this great majority of cases (e.g. where the person isn't actively hallucinating and trying to die as a result) is to acknowledge the desire for suicide as legitimate, reasonable, and a valid response to such pain - but at the same time, to try to provide alternatives, reduce the pain, or increase the person's ability to cope with it.
Detective Mole: The Corrupt Cop sometimes actively hinders an investigation. These are often planted or bought by organized crime.
Diagonal Cut: Real-life iaido practitioners actually cut up inanimate objects for practice, in exactly this fashion.
Difficult but Awesome: Becoming a doctor, top-tier lawyer, professional athlete, CEO, or any other number of high-paying positions that can only be achieved by some combination of hours studying/practicing, skill, and sometimes huge doses of privilege or luck. Competing in the Olympics or similar high-level athletic competitions. Surviving something where most people would say No One Could Survive That and with your mind and most of your body intact.
Difficulty Spike: Sophomore or junior year of college for most people - it's after orientations and such and it's when one usually must take the hardest classes unless they've put them off until their last year. Almost any job or career when something unexpected or disastrous happens - for example, the well-worn adage that police work is 80 percent paperwork, 10 percent dealing with drunks, and 10 percent sheer terror. Or when EMT s have to deal with an accident with several critically wounded victims at once.
Diminishing Villain Threat: Long wars tend to do this to both sides involved: the more resources expended on the war(s) and battles within them, both human and otherwise, the less there are to spend next time, and then the next time.
Diner Brawl: It's not rare for late-night diners to see these happen from time to time. Many of these diners are in areas with a lot of nightlife, resulting in drunk patrons coming in to eat. As with the Bar Brawl, drunk people gathering together in one place can sometimes be dangerous.
Dinner with the Boss: More often during The Fifties in the US when entertaining bosses and co-workers at home was expected for men. In Japan and in most of Europe the trope was and is subverted - the boss was expected to entertain, and/or the boss, employees, and other bosses and other employees go out to a restaurant or bar. When it happens in modern times, this is how it is everywhere after around The Eighties - no one is usually expected to bring their boss home.
Diplomatic Impunity: Occasionally has happened, like with these guys and this controversial case of drunk driving. Most countries, however, now have methods in place to deal with severely errant diplomats, so while diplomats can still get away with offenses punished with citation or petty misdemeanors, serious misdemeanors or felonies or anything involving violence usually gets them sent back to their country to be prosecuted there, or extradited to the country in which they committed the crime for prosecution.
Dirty Cop: They definitely exist, in many regions of the world.
Dirty Coward: Quite a few people have achieved notoriety for their inaction to the degree of complicity that allowed people to be killed and/or horrific abuse to occur because they did nothing or worse, they helped it happen in fear for their own finances/lives/whatever.
Disability Immunity: Thalassemia and sickle-cell trait protect against malaria, and a wide range of physical and mental disabilities can keep one out of military service or at the very least out of combat unless things are very desperate.
Disability Superpower: Because sometimes something seen as "abnormal" or "disabling" in most normal Western societal contexts can actually provide unique abilities. Some prosthetic body parts (legs and external sex organs) are in some cases better and more adaptable (e.g. the wearer can switch out different types) than "real" legs or a "real" penis, for one example. Mental disorders from depression to OCD are capable of providing their sufferers with different ways of looking at things in life which may enhance creativity or make them better at something than a healthy person.
Disappeared Dad: For many people in Real Life. Whether via death, divorce, abandoning the mother as soon as she said she was pregnant, or other reasons. The non-angsty version overlaps with Has Two Mommies, where the sperm donor isn't known, but all is well anyway.
Distracted by the Sexy: Many Ad Councils have tried putting sexy things in their billboards to get people to pay attention to them. They end up causing more car accidents than they had been trying to prevent.
Disco Dan: People like this exist, but the characterization is often flanderized in media depictions, and the Popularity Polynomial means that any genre has a chance at returning, so they may actually end up ahead of their time due to luck or cultural winds blowing the right way.
Dismotivation: Can be a symptom of illnesses like depression or anxiety, and can also be a result of living in an oppressed society or culture.
Disposable Sex Worker: Unfortunately. It's finally beginning to change, but especially in countries where sex work is illegal (and in the ones where it's legal sometimes) police have long been slow to investigate rape charges made by sex workers or even the disappearance of sex workers, if they investigate at all.
Disproportionate Retribution: Real life examples are no longer allowed, but it happens. You or someone you know may have been a victim, too.
Divided States of America: More conservative states versus more liberal states. Poorer states versus richer ones. There are plenty of maps redrawn to ostensibly show the "real America" depending on your politics. AND THAT IS ALL.
Divided We Fall: Internal squabbles and quarrels can have far more destructive impact on anything from a friendship to a nation than can any external threat. Good examples can be seen in nearly every case of Internet drama that has ever happened as well.
Divorce Assets Conflict: When you've shared the same stuff for years, you're going to fight over who gets what. Averted with prenups.
Does Not Like Men: Misandrists do exist, particularly in the "third wave radfem" community, but they're a lot rarer than you think, even among feminists. Lesser extremes that aren't misandry would be someone who was repeatedly victimized by men, or, on an orientation/attraction level, lesbians.
Also, very homophobic men who fear that even being friends with another man will get them seen as gay, and men who really do view all other men as competition in a fight for women and sex.
Doesn't Like Guns: True for a lot of people in Real Life. Also, some people (especially in areas with strict gun control) prefer to carry other weapons or not carry weapons at all but improvise them if they get into a fight or need to defend themselves.
Dog Food Diet: In some places some people are forced into eating dog food and cat food. In some places, there is not even anything as nutritious as that to eat.
Dogged Nice Guy (or girl): Some exist in Real Life (people who want someone out of their league to notice them and only have persistence and luck on their side as opposed to looks or money, people who have held onto relationships that should have ended out of sincere love or hope the person will get out of the addiction/leave the religious cult/end the string of affairs/leave the current abusive partner/etc until the other person finally just dumps them or they realize that their love means nothing to the person, or in a less cynical vein, people who stay with and loyal to partners suffering from Alzheimer's or similar conditions). That said, if you see yourself as one, you're probably one of the many stalker-related tropes instead.
Do I Really Sound Like That?: Everybody when they've first heard their voice recorded. Some voice actors avoid watching their own work specifically to avoid this.
Domestic Abuse: Sadly so, and probably more common than most of us would like to think, especially if emotional and financial abuse are counted alongside beatings and rapes.
Dominatrix: You can find one fairly easily in any major city, should you desire. Google is your friend.
Don't Look at Me!: Sometimes people do get very embarrassed over being seen out of costume or in a less than fashionable state. Especially if there are cameras involved. Hollywood stars and Visual Kei musicians are especially known for this - being seen out of hair/makeup/stage clothes/etc can be offensive.
Donut Mess with a Cop: Because in many places, donut shops are the only 24 hour (or at least open early closed late) businesses, and they serve coffee, which many night-shift patrol officers tend to live off of because most cops aren't naturally nocturnal. Such shops often give officers/deputies discounts or free coffee, also. Subverted in settings after The Nineties when convenience stores, coffee shops, gas stations, and similar began to take the role as well.
Doom It Yourself: Because do-it-yourself projects can become far more complex than they seem at first, misunderstood or forgotten instructions or items can have major impacts on their outcome, and some things REALLY do require professional training to repair (electrical wiring being the big one usually - mess it up and you have a life-threatening hazard for shock or fire)
Do It Yourself Plumbing Project: Because people don't see plumbing projects as necessarily hazardous as electrical or structural work, they're more likely to try to do it themselves with equally bad results.
Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: Because what people find attractive sometimes doesn't change, and because sometimes, what they see of their ex or of their dead love in someone else doesn't frighten/upset/trigger them but is comforting.
Double Entendre: Practically the stock in trade of anyone who uses Twitter, headline writers, and anyone in some situations.
Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Especially in regard to emotional abuse (since in many patriarchial societies, men are supposed to be seen as not having emotions at all, so how can they be emotionally abused and manipulated?) and financial abuse. Even in regard to physical abuse, a man abused by a woman may find himself anything from viewed as unmanly and weak for not defending himself to arrested and imprisoned if he does fight back or use any force to escape.
Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: In some countries, rape is actually defined as unconsented male-on-female sex. Also, female pedophiles versus male pedophiles, especially apparent in mother/son abuse versus father/daughter and attractive female teacher/male student versus male teacher/female student.
Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: Just take a look at how Prison Rape is treated by first world societies. And how often the Ass Shove and Anal Probing and such are considered absolutely hilarious even when they are involved in real incidents. In the Arabian peninsula, there are some countries that will penalize a male victim of rape because it was sodomy.
Down in the Dumps: Law enforcement often has to visit dumps to investigate crimes. Then there's garbage pickers, salvage workers...
Draft Dodging: Happens when militaries use a draft to recruit rather than rely on volunteers and reserves. Sometimes for very good reasons - an Actual Pacifist is drafted and does not wish to participate in a war, for example, though even drafting militaries have made some adjustments for that.
Dramatic Shattering: Glass tends to break in accidents, crimes, and disasters. Also, in a form of Defictionalization, people being dramatic or wanting to destroy something will often break whatever glass is nearby.
Dreaming The Truth: Andre Kekule was trying to figure out the structure of benzene. He took a nap and dreamt of a snake biting its tail. He discovered the benzene ring.
Dream Within a Dream: Incredibly common. Like dreaming about your daily morning routine and then waking up to find out that you're not actually awake.
Dress Code: High schools, particularly privately-operated schools. Many businesses, of the "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service" variety. Fancy restaurants may require a jacket or tie for men, and many bars and clubs prohibit hats.
Dr. Feelgood: Prescription pill mills, and doctors who divert addictive or psychoactive medications for themselves or people they know, or who prescribe before finding other solutions.
Driven to Suicide: Can happen - suicide, being, as earlier mentioned under Despair Event Horizon, the result of pain exceeding ability to cope with pain, is not always the result of existing severe mental illness. Torture, extreme and untreated/untreatable physical pain, intense emotional/physical/sexual abuse with no way to escape, being faced with an immediate and seemingly hopeless situation such as a terminal illness diagnosis or going from an upper-middle-class life to one of homelessness and grinding poverty are among the events that can cause this without an existing severe mental illness being present.
Dr. Jerk: Because some people in the caring professions enter them for their profit potential or for being "better than" or able to control others, or believe they have an Omniscient Morality License.
Drowning My Sorrows: It doesn't work — sorrows are excellent swimmers — but that doesn't stop people from trying it.
Drugs Are Good: Truth in Television when drugs are used correctly and responsibly to treat physical or mental illnesses for which they are valid treatments, and when recreational drugs such as alcohol are used responsibly and moderately rather than abused or used addictively/dangerously.
The Drunken Sailor: Historically correct in that sailors tended to drink (even Royal Navy sailors had a rum ration) and private or unlawful sailors (such as pirates or merchants) often tended to drink much more - being drunk dealt with the monotony of the sea, and adding alcohol to water purified it to prevent waterborne disease. While drinking is typically technically banned from ships post World War I, sailors are still famous for it - there is a reason US Navy towns such as downtown San Diego or Yokosuka, for example, have a reputation for lots of drunk sailors, often getting into trouble.
Drunken Master: Very common among musicians and performing artists (especially in the more difficult forms such as standup comedy). Many need at least a buzz to knock off stage fright/loosen up/etcetera, and some musicians, comedians, etc. are actually far better when at levels of intoxication that would leave most people passed out. This isn't good for their health or personal lives as many, especially those who fall into the latter group, are The Alcoholic.
Drunken Song: KARAOKE. Also, any song given the singer's alcohol and drug consumption beforehand.
Drunk with Power: Fairly common in the helping professions and law enforcement with their granting power over other people - to the extent that responsible organizations in both fields do their best to find people who are like this and retrain them better/remove them from the career entirely.
Duct Tape for Everything: A quite common repair tactic in low-income settings - among rednecks, especially. There's even a joke about the "redneck tool kit" that contains duct tape for "things that move but shouldn't," WD-40 and a hammer for "things that don't move but should," and a six pack of beer. Also common among musician road crews, both due to low-income and that many overlap with low-income groups such as rednecks, and that it is effective (if not necessarily safe) for many applications in setting up a stage.
Dying Town: Extremely common in Europe and US where people move from smaller villages and towns to larger towns and cities. Also common in Australia. And India. And China...
Mountain towns (like Viganella, Italy and Rattenburg, Austria) that are deprived of sunlight for winter are the most famous. The young will move away as soon as possible, leaving the towns inhabited by few dozen old people. Recently, mirrors have been installed to reflect the light from behind the mountains.
Dynamic Entry: Smash and grab burglaries, home invasions, shoplifter flash mobs.
Dysfunctional Family: They exist, and you may even be a part of one. If you are, please seek therapy now.
Dysfunction Junction: These can be found in many, many settings in Real Life. Formalized versions consist of 12 Step recovery meetings, support groups, and the like - where people are (at least allegedly) acknowledging and working on their issues. The informal version is far more common.
Eat Dirt Cheap: Famines, when even the Dog Food Diet or rats are unavailable or for the "wealthy" only. Currently around the African continent for a variety of reasons, and in North Korea because of the society.
Earth Is a Battlefield: There have only been 80 years in the past 3000 where there hasn't been a war somewhere.
Education Mama: Tiger Mom and the stereotyping that all Asian moms are obsessed with achievement and education. The Jewish Mother is also stereotypically this, not pleased until her sons and daughters are all in med school, law school or business school. While some moms definitely match these stereotypes, some don't and the Education Mama can be found in many other places as well.
Elephant in the Living Room: These issues tend to exist almost everywhere, especially once a group gets large enough to have a faction that wants to ignore them and one that wants to at least mention them.
Emergency Services: Some form of medical assistance is generally the most common (even if it's just one doctor or battlefield medics). Once a settlement or village or town of some sort has developed, the need for law enforcement is usually not far behind. A firefighting agency generally organizes when/if there are enough people close enough together to make fires a hazard.
Emergency Weapon: Every half-decent army gives its soldiers at least knives for backup, and the ones that don't still have their soldiers equipped with hands. It's the countries that take soldiers hands away you really have to watch out for.
Empty Cop Threat: Even if the cops can't actually charge the suspect with obstruction of justice, they can still threaten to do it — and some cops do.
There's also the inverse - the cops promise to make things easier for you or make things go away. As empty as the threat (the cops can and often will not do it, and if they do, the prosecutor can throw it out and/or if you gave money to make it happen, you've committed the crime of bribery of police officers), If you're ever encountered with a cop that asks you to admit to or confess to something "lesser" (especially if you did neither crime) or intimates a bribe will help matters, the correct response is to shut up and demand a lawyer.
Empty Nest: Is a great source of angst to those who have devoted their entire lives to family and childrearing and nothing else. Less painful, in most cases, for those who've developed interests and hobbies and friendships beyond and outside of the "nest."
Enemy to All Living Things: Sociopaths. Unfortunately people who commit animal cruelty and/or damage the environment for profit or for personal fulfillment exist. And intense animal cruelty at an early age is a warning sign that the person who does it has incipient homicidal tendencies.
Enfant Terrible: While real life examples are not allowed, a few have existed. Usually the result of extreme abuse and/or neglect, or severe mental illness.
Engineered Public Confession: Has happened a few times, as a result of criminals, corrupt politicians, bigots of various sorts, brutal cops, and others who might be considered Real Life villains not realizing their mic was hot, that the person they were communicating to brag about their actions or plans was recording it, or that the people they just unleashed a torrent of abuse upon were all recording it/streaming it.
Enraged By Idiocy: The stupidity and shallowness of other human beings can be a major cause of anger and annoyance.
Entitled Bastard: People who mistreat others and at the same time expect them to drop everything and help when they are personally in trouble do exist in Real Life, in everything from individual relationships and friendships to international relations.
Entitled to Have You: Not Truth in Television itself, but unfortunately, people who believe it to be true are. These people are at best incredibly annoying to have to coexist with, and at worst rapists.
Epic Race: Some triathalons, adventure races, rallies, etcetera would qualify as this.
Equal-Opportunity Evil: Truth in Television. Evil people/people who commit evil acts can come from any background/backstory/culture/race/religion/anything, as a browse of People You See In Hell or similar will show you. There is no group (aside from groups that are defined by committing crime or killing) that is somehow "more or less evil" or more or less likely to spawn violence/harm/etcetera than any other.
Ethical Slut: Being one is possible as long as everyone involved is open and honest about what they want, and as long as a being imposing strict codes of sexual propriety doesn't exist.
Et Tu, Brute?: A lot of people care about what their family and friends think of them and won't take it well if they abandoned them.
Real life career criminals will often compartmentalize their "evil" and indulge in gross sentimentality. Extremely anti-social personalities, in particular, will frequently have the most adverse reaction toward child molesters and rapists.
Also can be a result of someone believing one "evil" act to not be evil/a problem at all (e.g. a drug dealer who happily deals in pot and psychedelics, but will not deal in meth or heroin) or someone who uses an I Did What I Had to Do rationalization for one evil act but who draws the line at another (e.g. a store burglar/shoplifter who won't steal from or harm individual people, a person who kills others in a war but who, given the opportunity to rape, refuses it).
During World War II, The Mafia was among the strongest allies the US government had for rooting out Nazi sympathizers and spies. The mob hated the Nazis. Also a case of Pragmatic Villainy: concentration camps weren't just for disliked ethnicities and homosexuals.
In prisons, there are three unforgivable crimes that will make you a prison bitch in no time: pedophilia, infanticide, and matricide.
Everybody Hates Mathematics: More accurately, almost everyone in certain groups - such as dyscalculics and people in settings where it is taught in boring and incomprehensible ways. The "uselessness" of mathematics also gives it some hatred - especially since in many settings, people who would do just fine in life learning math they could and will actually use are also forced to learn math that they likely never will use once out of college or that would be better and faster done by non-human brains, especially since many people now carry around a device that can do calculations a lot faster and more reliably than most people can in their heads.
It is possible that at some point in the future, the emphasis on applied mathematics for most people, as a result of Technology Marches On, will consist of verifying device output (e.g. "is my app giving me the right number here").
Everybody Smokes: Until The Eighties (and The Noughties in other places) this was Truth in Television with incredibly high smoking rates throughout much of the world. It is still true for some cultures, subcultures, and populations, but not universally. Indonesia has the highest population of smokers.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Some cases of psychopathy and malignant narcissism. People suffering from these will occasionally argue for the "inherent virtue" of violence against innocents or rape, for example. There are two organizational variants: one, where a society/nation is brainwashed into violence or genocide (such as in the genocide of the Native Americans or the Holocaust), and the other where a small organization led by and consisting of people like the aforementioned psychopaths promotes violence or abuse (e.g. Neo-Nazi or violent militia groups, drunk driving forums, NAMBLA and "little girl lovers") and becomes its own echo chamber of its "evil" beliefs and actions.
Evil Debt Collector: Certainly do exist. See Palisade Collections or the collections department of Wachovia Dealer Services as typical examples. Foreclosure mills. In the US at least, the "debt collection" industry consists of corporations who buy debts often at pennies on the dollar to profit off of them - meaning technically, you no longer even owe the debt to where you originally did, but to the debt collector who bought it. It gets REALLY underhanded when collectors buy debt that is more than seven to ten years old (which by law is invalid for anything but student loans or some lawsuit judgments) and try to collect on it, or worse, debts that have been fully or mostly paid.
Evil-Detecting Dog: Bomb-sniffing dogs. Also, some dogs can detect someone who seems to be nervous or angry. This isn't infallible though, as these dogs can alert on a criminal about to commit a crime - or on someone with fear of dogs, social anxiety, or who's angry for an unrelated reason. Dogs also are fallible, as they'll pick up on their trainers as well.
Evil Is Easy: Because humanity is far from perfect, it's easier to do things that are unethical, immoral, selfish, or just plain cruel than to do things that are honorable, selfless, altruistic, and kind.
Evil Is Sexy: The groupies/hangers-on of outlaws of various sorts, organized criminals, and serial killers.
Evil Matriarch: A few have existed at the center of some horrific child abuse cases.
Evil Power Vacuum: Anytime a dictator or a really powerful dude is deposed. Colombia, for example, sank in a chaos of guerrillas and rival crime lords after Pablo Escobar got killed.
Evil Uncle: The laws of primogeniture, where the deceased's son gets estates ahead of the deceased's younger brother, sometimes provoked younger brothers into this sort of thing.
Evil Versus Evil: Power-hungry dictators (the closest Real Life equivalent of evil) often fight each other in their selfish quest for power. Hitler and Stalin could be an example of this form. Organized criminals fighting amongst each other creates another form: the drug cartel mafia wars in Mexico, gang wars elsewhere.
Exiled to the Couch: For various reasons from arguments to snoring to religious taboos, some partners/spouses/lovers do not share a bed temporarily.
Expanded States of America: If Puerto Rico or one of the other US territories or commonwealths ever becomes a full state. Arguably happened to the entire world with American English becoming the dominant language and, for many years, American culture and media (and culture and media inspired by that) being globally dominant.
Explosive Overclocking: In memory of all those who turned their CPUs into grilled silicon after overclocking them to 6 GHz. You can also do this with a steam engine, which will recover more easily.
Explosive Stupidity: Terrorists do blow themselves up with their own bombs, and more often than that, ordinary people handle explosive chemicals and similar (especially petrochemicals like gasoline and kerosene and lighter fluid) in incredibly stupid and dangerous ways.
Extreme Doormat: This form of passive/submissive behavior is called "learned helplessness," and it is often a sign of extreme abuse or of a culture/subculture being so harsh on non-submissive behavior that only the most passive and submissive stay around (and are broken into being more so) while anyone with any amount of self-determination eventually either leaves or is kicked out/shunned.
The Extremist Was Right: Pre-Civil War era and Civil War era abolitionists, some of whom did resort to violence and/or other fanatical tactics in their opposition to slavery (while most did not and found more peaceful ways to free slaves), because slavery was an evil so egregious that almost any tactic used to undo it and free its victims was preferable to its continued existence. Environmentalists who criticized overdependence on fossil fuels and destruction of ecosystems and the overuse of deadly and dangerous chemicals as early as the 1960s and 1970s - their concerns were more than borne out over the next decades.
Compiz is a window manager presently included with many Linux distributions. If you want, you can overload it with plugins so that your windows wobble like Jello when they move, your desktop is on the surface of a cube (with sharks inside), windows shuffle and dodge around one another when you switch between them, inactive windows go translucent and gain a mirror sheen, and a trail of fire follows your mouse around. Here are some videos of it.
Extreme Omnivore: Human beings, and some animals, can or will eat many things - even things that are very unhealthy or inedible.
A sad case exists with birds that eat inedible plastics - which their bodies also cannot expel. The plastics fill up the birds so they cannot eat or drink, and they die of starvation or dehydration.
Eye Scream: Eye injuries are incredibly common and also preventable. Wear proper protective goggles while working with tools, chemicals, or anything else that could throw something into or splash into your eyes. Do not weld anything or use some blowtorches without welding-specific goggles/visor/both. Don't look directly at solar eclipses. And if you ever see a bright-as-sun flash, do not look in its direction, and throw yourself toward the nearest shade.
Face Doodling: Plenty of college frat boys and sorority girls have either done this or been victim to it, or both.
Fag Hag: Not as often as happens stereotypically, but can happen in cultures where heterosexual men only associate with women they see as incredibly sexually attractive and heterosexual women only associate with women who increase their attractiveness to said heterosexual men or who they aspire to be - leaving women percieved to be ugly to have more friendship and social options as a friend of gay men, if the gay men don't shun them for their appearance or weight or whatever.
Failure Is the Only Option: Sadly sometimes true - just look at the amount of talented and intelligent people who have ambition, try hard - and fail every single time. Gets even worse when people believe their failure to mean they need to be excluded and punished and shunned more.
Fair Cop: Happens in real life sometimes - not all police officers love donuts or fattening food, and for some officers (especially young rookies) there are intense fitness requirements.
Fair for Its Day: Quite a lot of things, because every era had people who could see beyond, say, racism.
Fairytale Wedding Dress: Because many brides see their wedding as the best day of their lives, and want it to be like a fairytale.
Fake Food: Often used in food photography and in window displays of food.
Fake Ultimate Hero: Often overlaps in real life with the Phony Veteran, though there are people who impersonate being police officers or doctors or other professions where they can claim heroic deeds that they didn't do.
False Flag Operation: They have happened in real life, but they're not as common as conspiracy theorists and gun advocates like to think. Examples can be found over on the Conspiracy Theories page.
False Rape Accusation: Has happened in real life but far more rarely than true rape accusations. No real life examples are allowed due to this and that it is such a controversial topic.
Fatal Method Acting: There have been quite a few deaths and near-misses for performers of various sorts, whether from unrelated causes (heart attacks or the like while onstage/on set/etcetera) to related causes (e.g. blank guns not being so blank, pyro lighting a stage and its club on fire...)
The Farmer And The Viper: In quite a few occasions, kindness has been rewarded with everything from being involved in a crime or a scam to being murdered. Probably the most notorious example is Ted Bundy, who faked injury to get his victims to "help" him, and next to that, drug smugglers who use unwitting mules by convincing people they need to hold a package or take something to someone or advance-fee con artists who ask people to take out a payday loan or hold money in their bank account for their paying the loan/a small cut "in thanks."
Farside Island: Most islands are fairly small. Australia and Hawaii are exceptions to that rule. Most real islands are even smaller than the Farside Island - they are low and underwater.
Fashionable Asymmetry: Very common for some types of street fashion like punk and visual kei, and some runway outfits are even like this.
The Fashionista: Just look at Tumblr or Polyvore. There are entire industries devoted to serving them and the wannabe ones as well.
Fashion Show: Another one that's existed in real life long before it was a trope.
Faux Affably Evil: For all the thieves, rapists, pedophiles, and serial killers that actually are just friendly people who happen to kill, rape, or steal from others, there are plenty more that only act that way so's not to raise suspicion of their crimes.
Fed to the Beast: People have actually been executed by being thrown to animals or insects. Tragically, some people have accidentally and intentionally committed suicide this way at zoos or by having their Cool Pet get out of control.
Feed the Mole: A counterintelligence tactic. Not recommended for use in anything but official spying though - trying this against an undercover cop that you feel is unfairly investigating you can result in an arrest for lying to police or obstruction of justice, or trying it against someone trying to start office politics or similar drama can result in their making people believe the false information.
Fence Painting: Arranged by recruiters for militaries, fraternities, and sororities.
Felony Misdemeanor: Tends to happen when one person or group takes something far, far more seriously than the other does - for example, The Fundamentalist going into a frothing rage over a person of age and who is not an alcoholic having one alcoholic beverage.
The Felony Misdemeanor actually exists as a part of US federal law. The US federal legal system generally doesn't have infractions or misdemeanors. Any crime committed, therefore, in areas where US federal law applies but there is no state/tribal/local law (so there is no default of handing over to the locals for a ticket or a low-bail arrest etc) is automatically a federal felony. So, if you disturb the peace on an airplane? Felony charges with mandatory minimum of two years, whereas if you disturbed the peace on the ground in a recognized state, city, reservation, etc, you would likely get anywhere from a ticket to maybe a short jail term. Decide to take your fast car out somewhere to do a Youtube vid of just how fast you can go? If you're on federal land, you'll face felony reckless driving charges as opposed to, if sober, a speeding ticket.
Females Are More Innocent: Is a social construct. If a society limits opportunities for women and/or forces them to be defined as by their men, many women will fall into this trope. While it's not "true," it happens in real life due to both double standards.
Female Success Is Family: Patriarchial cultures, some matriarchial cultures, some religions, etcetera believe this to be true, as do some women themselves, whether influenced by the culture or claiming not to be. It was also seen as absolute truth in most Western societies until around The Sixties. It's not objective truth, as much as a controversial assumption a lot of people in real life do unfortunately make, and by which they judge other women.
The Fettered: Sometimes, ethical or moral standards do provide an advantage, especially in the long term, and people tend to treat those who have them with somewhat more respect.
Feuding Families: The Hatfields and the McCoys in the US; the MacGregors and the Campbells in Scotland; the Italian mafia families in New York and Sicily (with a couple in New Orleans).
Field Promotion: Happens in military combat. Also how a vice president/chancellor/vice premier/prince etc (or if something has happened to a vice president/premier/prince/etc, the next on down the line) gets power - whomever is available and alive in the succession gets promoted to the leadership in an emergency.
Firing in the Air a Lot: The earliest form of "warning shots" and "suppressive fire," intended more to frighten and terrorize than to actually hit anyone with the gunfire. In another form, "celebratory gunfire" for anything from holidays to terrorists celebrating a victory. The problem with it is that the bullets have to land somewhere, and when they do, people in their way get shot.
First Law of Gender Bending: True in real life in regard to FTM transgender persons: the only way to ensure a man born with an externally female body will not grow breasts (requiring surgery to remove them) and will attain full male height and bone/body structure (again, without an even more intense, painful, and less likely to be covered surgery involving the breaking of legs, insertion of rods into the leg bones, and a slow recovery with having to learn to walk and do anything involving leg movement all over again) is to begin gonadal suppression either via medication or via hysterectomy/oophorectomy before puberty starts, and administering testosterone and growth hormone to induce male puberty if that is desired instead of female. Which is actually a very difficult and controversial option (see the Internet Backdraft over transgender kids). It does not help matters that due to earlier puberty, many children born "girls" start puberty at 8 to 10 years of age, and that after around 11 to 13 gonadal suppression begins to have destructive effects (e.g. puberty of some type can't be postponed indefinitely)
First Person Snapshooter: The prevalence of smartphones and smaller, cheaper, more userfriendly professional grade cameras has made life exactly this. Instagram and similar services became the trope codifiers, with everyone having photography opened to them as long as they can afford a phone.
Five-Man Band: Quite a lot of Hard Rock / Heavy Metal acts are this, because singer + lead guitar + second/rhythm guitar + bassist + drummer = five people onstage. In fact, the only ways for a HR / HM band to subvert this are to have only one guitarist (making it four members with no rhythm/second guitar player), to add a keyboardist, or even an instrumentalist unknown for the genre (making it six members), or to claim late members as "eternal members" (meaning four or five people onstage but the band count officially being at six... or seven... or more...)
Flame War: Became a trope because of its occurrence in Real Life. If there is something to argue about on the internet, people will argue over it. Sometimes even if there isn't something to argue about, they will still find a way to argue about it.
Flat Yes: Stupid or boring questions often get this.
Florence Nightingale Effect: The reason for nurse fetishism and medical fetishism - being in a position of vulnerability and pampered/cared for is a very common fetish for a lot of people. Some of whom have pages on this wiki as contributors or as creators.
Flushing Toilet, Screaming Shower: In older homes or apartments (those built before The Seventies on average) with bad plumbing. This is something that can be used in inspecting a home: if flushing the toilet changes the shower temperature, the dwelling will likely require extensive plumbing work at some point in the near future (as well as major electrical work if the wiring also hasn't been redone since The Seventies or The Eighties) and is a bad deal unless you have lots of money and time for renovations or for razing and rebuilding.
Food As Bribe: Almost everyone has done this or had this done to them.
Forbidden Fruit: Prohibiting something and creating a mystique of danger around it will draw people to consume it or do it.
Force Feeding: Sometimes it's necessary when the person (or animal) is sick. But it has been and is being currently used so that a torture victim or someone indefinitely imprisoned with no access to trial or lawyers can't starve themselves to death.
Foreign Queasine: There's a whole show based around it called Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel. And while most of it is in Asia, there are episodes that take place in North America, believe it or not. Anyone for fried nutria on a stick?
Forgiven But Not Forgotten: Actually a good approach to take when the nature of what was done hints at something far worse beneath it (e.g. the offense shows the person to be a narcissist or sociopath).
Those in power of authority will have this sort attitude towards those who break a law, often by giving out stern warnings to the offender of the repercussions if the action is repeated.
It's very common that people in general won't forgive others easily, especially if they're still angry for what they've done. Sometimes, they often continue to admonish them, and sometimes, their indignation and resentment lasts for only a moment or for a long time, if not forever.
Forgets to Eat: Every real gamer has done this. This can also be applied to workaholics.
For Happiness: The motivation of a lot of people in life, either their own or others' happiness.
Former Child Star: Became a trope because of being Truth In Television with the downfall of many "child stars."
Formerly Fat: People lose weight and diet successfully. Others learn how to starve and purge or get on various drugs...
For the Evulz: Psychopaths. The motivation of some people in life - they want to hurt other people.
419 Scam: Truth in Television and in New Media. Don't believe it? Just take a look inside your spam folder... and realize this is one of the reasons why we have to have spam folders.
Forever War: Not one year has there been peace in every country all at once.
For Your Own Good: Commonly said by parents when rationalizing why they give their children something they would hate, either vegetables or being disciplined.
Fourth Date Marriage: Sometimes people do fall in love fast. Other times with heterosexual couples, there's an accidental pregnancy. Arranged marriages can also lead to this.
Fowl-Mouthed Parrot: Ladies and gentlemen, Ruby the Swearing Parrot. And our next act, Barney the Swearing Macaw! Barney has the noble distinction of cursing out not only the mayor of Nuneaton, but also a vicar! Oh, and he taught two other parrots how to curse as well. Parrot owners are well-advised not to swear around their parrots, lest the parrot have trouble finding a new home if it outlives them.
Fragile Flower: It's common that some people are overly sensitive over the smallest things, and dealing with those kinds of people in a harsh manner (i.e., encouraging them to get a thicker skin) will most likely do more harm than good. They are also easy targets for bullying.
Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind: Yes, some people with odd/freakish clothes or hair just have it because they like it - they aren't trying to offend people or get attention.
Freeze Sneeze: Cold really does make some people sneeze because it makes your nose dry.
Freudian Slip: Whether or not you give any weight to Freudian psychology, it happens.
Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: "Vampire subculture" tends to mostly, if not entirely, consist of these. The consumption of human blood when/if it is done is a consensual act of ritual, for example.
The Friend Nobody Likes: These are common in groups where friendship is based upon proximity or locality alone, as opposed to people choosing their friends and being able to avoid those who annoy or upset them.
Friendly Rivalry: Some friends have rivalries like this, also common among siblings.
Friend or Foe: Sometimes, especially in combat, it is very difficult to tell who is on your side and who is not.
Friendship Denial: Because one is judged by their friends, sometimes this is necessary if someone who is a friend is not up to par with who your other friends are.
Friends with Benefits: Often is a "real relationship" for some people, especially those that don't prefer traditional dating and romance models.
The Fundamentalist: If you've never met one, you will someday. If you have, you know it... and everything about their cause and why you are evil for not converting to it.
Funny Schizophrenia: Some schizophrenics are quite funny on the surface. Nonsensical, disorganized and rambling about nonsense, but it quickly becomes Fridge Horror when you realize they're being serious and really believe what they ramble on about or they ramble on nonsensically because they can't process thoughts correctly. Also, for the most part it's averted as many of them know they're trapped in their mind, know they're crazy and just want it to stop and to be normal.
Fun Size: Kittens, puppies, and the like. It wouldn't work in art if it didn't work in life.