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Truth In Television: P-R
Visit entries from: A to C/D to F/G to I/J to L/M to O/You are here/S to U/V to Z
  • Pædo Hunt: As exemplified by the cases where parents' family photos of once-innocent events have been reported to police by developers or by people who see them on Face Book, by the infamous "paedophile/pediatrician" mixup, and Moral Guardian callouts of fictional media employing Dawson Casting or not even involving real personages at all for depicting relationships between teenagers.
    • Worse, actual relationships between teenagers have been caught up in this. While no one would consider a 17 year old who was in a relationship with a 15-17 year old a pedophile, the second the 17 year old turns 18, he or she becomes one under some laws, never mind if they were both minors when the relationship began. An Obvious Rule Patch, the ill-named "Romeo and Juliet exception" exists in some of those places, but not all, for this reason.
  • Painful Transformation: Puberty in some ways for everyone. Exercising to become more muscular can feel strange and actually hurt for people who aren't used to it at first, because existing muscle has to develop microscopic tears to rebuild. Plastic surgery, because it isn't Magic Plastic Surgery but sometimes very invasive surgery with a painful recovery.
  • Paparazzi: An unfortunate Truth in Television, if you're a celebrity or otherwise famous. Some of the more aggressive ones have actually hurt or even contributed to the death of their targets. Others have gotten attacked or had their camera gear destroyed by angry targets.
  • Papa Wolf: As if the Mama Bear trope wasn't enough, do not threaten or harm someone's children.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: A favorite of Stupid Crooks when they decide to commit a Bank Robbery or other crime that requires a disguise. The absolute stupidity of them sometimes boggles the mind - there was once a story of someone who robbed a convenience store with an empty beer box over his head. Not only was the "Beer Box Bandit" easily identifiable, he couldn't see through his disguise - which made him easy pickings for the police.
  • Paper Tiger: Ah, bullying. You find out just how tough someone who's mugged the monster really is.
  • Parental Abandonment: Sadly, happens via death of one parent on occasion. Divorce (or never getting married/staying around in the first place) is another common cause, along with long-term military deployments, or artists or performers who spend much of their lives working or away on tour, or businesspeople who work away from home or spend all their time at the office. And sometimes one or both parents literally abandon the kid and/or give the kid up for adoption.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Mostly an outdated trope in modern societies, but was Truth in Television in the past and is still in some other cultures. And even if it doesn't have the force of law and can't be enforced (e.g. the child is an adult in a modern society) it can still make life a bit more sad and miserable for all involved, with the guilt of having to make a Sadistic Choice of the person one loves or one's family.
  • Parenting the Husband: Was actually an Enforced Trope for a Housewife in Western societies and some others for a long time. Japanese culture took it to an extreme, making the ideal marital relationship an Oedipal one (this still happens in some contexts) with the ideal "wife" being "just like Mom." Still happens, but is increasingly a Discredited Trope in real life in many cases, unless both parts of the couple have it as a fetish or a strong cultural belief.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Some situations don't allow for a physical or heated confrontation.
  • Passive Rescue: Sometimes done by those acting as guards of prisoners of war or kidnapped people or similar situations who feel sorry for the prisoner or disagree with their treatment or oppose the war or similar.
  • Path of Inspiration: Church of Happyology, and other cults.
  • Patricide: Older Than Dirt, as, unfortunately, many of the Murder Tropes are.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Those of the Judeo-Christian faiths believe the Hebrews/the Jews were not wiped out of existence on repeated occasions because of several people giving these to God.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The death penalty where it is still imposed, many wars at least nominally (even if they really were about resources etcetera), imprisonment in places with cruel or nonrehabilitative prison systems (especially if Prison Rape is a possibility or even expected), self-defense with lethal weapons.
  • Pedophile Priest: Whether it became a trope because it was truth, or the true scope of it as truth became widely known, a huge scandal for at least the Roman Catholic Church starting in The Noughties (though the abuses were happening far, far earlier...) and ongoing as of The New Tens.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
  • Pepper Sneeze: It irritates the mucus membrane of the nose.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Don't say you've never whacked your TV or computer when it failed. It's The Coconut Effect many times, but in cases where the failure involves poor solder joints, dust or dirt, loose wires or connectors, or other causes of bad connections, a good whack can actually be a useful temporary fix. Also used as a last resort fix (as in, nothing else works and the only option is losing the data) to get a non-solid-state hard drive to work long enough to retrieve data from it.
    • Also, though not advised unless you have no other choice (e.g. you haven't backed up, you're out of warranty and have no money) for the other damage it can do, sometimes works (along with a few blasts of compressed air to shake loose dust and dirt) to get a stopped laptop fan running. For this, you'll want to know where the fan *is* (to reduce the risk of doing other damage) and, after the air blasts, smack the case under the fan with the heel of your hand. If the fan was just slow-running and blocked due to the dust, there's a good chance it will restart and work longer.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Sometimes, rarely, the Arranged Marriage does work. This is generally only true in the variant of the Arranged Marriage where both partners desire an Arranged Marriage and are set up by a matchmaker or relative who matches the couple on compatibility, rather than one arranged solely for financial or familial or political reasons regardless of what either person wants.
  • Performance Anxiety: Nervousness caused by being in front of people is one of the biggest sources of stress in the world today.
  • Perky Goth: Because not all Goths are depressives or dour.
  • Perma Stubble: Some men have this, because their hair growth is especially dark and fast.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Because having just enough to make it through to the next day or the next week (and even that, sometimes, only because someone steps in or there's good luck) is depressingly common. It's called "living paycheck to paycheck on minimum wage."
  • Perpetual Smiler: Some people really do have (or fake, because it's seen as "positive and attractive") personalities like this. Other times, can be achieved via the use of certain recreational drugs.
  • Perpetual Tourist: Yes, people like this do live in places that are generally considered "for tourism only."
  • Pet Heir: A few people have left their estates to their pets. It's normally thrown out in court, though some have held up to challenges if a proper human executor for the pets was selected and/or the money was to a pet charity.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: Happens in many places apart from Japan. Lots of Germans and Nazis went to South America due to WW2.
    • In the USA, all "brown" people are assumed to be either Mexican, Indian, or Middle Eastern.
      • Meanwhile, in Canada, "brown" means anything that isn't people that are incredibly pale or dark.
  • Phony Veteran: A few have existed, and they are why some countries have laws against impersonating veterans or claiming military awards one did not receive.
  • Picked Last: Hopefully, this one doesn't happen to you.
  • Pimped Out Cape: Whether it's a coronation robe or just something to show off your wealth in public.
  • Pimped-Out Car: There was even a reality show about doing this called "Pimp My Ride," and there's some parts of car culture centered around it. If you want to see some extreme examples, go to Japan and look at the "vanning" subculture - mostly yankii or retired bosuzoku, who know mechanical repair and devote themselves to designing each others' increasingly outrageous-looking mobile housing or promotional vehicles.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Worn by rich women throughout history (and men), and a huge part of the Ermine Cape Effect.
  • Pink Elephants: That said, alcohol-related hallucinations are usually due to withdrawal or alcohol poisoning (or that your drink has been spiked with something other than alcohol, if you're not in withdrawal and haven't drank more than three or four drinks at least.)
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Many short people and little people are capable of power that their size might make you underestimate, from feats of physical strength to powerful voices.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Bosozoku and yankii in Japan, 99 percent of motorcycle clubs elsewhere in the world, punk rockers and black metallers for the most part, the list goes on. The most harm members of such groups likely do on average is creating noise, minor illicit drug use or petty fraud or shoplifting, if that. They normally get hated either for the more outrageous crimes (and incredibly rare) crimes that show up in their midst, or for being nuisances with the extent of petty crimes in a more law-oriented and business-oriented mainstream culture.
  • The Plague: The Black Death. Spanish Flu.
  • Platonic Life Partners: C. S. Lewis made a note in the "friendship" section of The Four Loves that platonic friendship between members of the opposite sex happened a lot in academia. (He ignored the gay angle, though.) It's called the Westermarck Effect, and it's why most brothers and sisters raised together aren't romantically interested in each other.
  • Platonic Prostitution: Yes, some people actually seek out sex workers or call sex lines for nonsexual conversation, either as a form of foreplay (getting comfortable with the person for the sex by getting to know them somewhat) or out of loneliness or not having anyone else to share emotions or feelings with.
  • Playing Both Sides: Double agents, and some neutral locales and people.
  • Playing Sick: Don't tell me you've never done it.
  • Please Dump Me: Very, very common, along with its variants Please Stop Working Here and Please Move Out. All are forms of Passive-Aggressive Kombat taken to the highest level.
  • Please Shoot the Messenger: Has happened to middlemen in criminal organizations when someone assumed the middleman was taking too much of a cut for relaying messages or similar.
  • Plethora of Mistakes: Stupid Crooks do this in Real Life, as well as the Corrupt Corporate Executive and many others who want to commit crime or attempt a coverup of misconduct or otherwise have a complex conspiratorial plan of some sort - that the wheels fall off of as soon as the first mistake is made, with everything only getting worse for the conspirators from then on all the way until they end up jailed or Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee or being intensely covered by the Intrepid Reporter or whatever else.
  • Plucky Middie: They had to be.
  • Plumber's Crack: If you're doing manual labor, make sure you're not wearing low-riding pants. Not many people want to see your asscrack.
  • Pocket Protector: Saved US President Theodore Roosevelt from a wannabe assassin's bullet.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: If you work, you've likely encountered one or heard of one. If not, count yourself lucky.
  • Poke the Poodle: Quite a few "bad" people don't go as far as to commit heinous offenses or even anything that directly or permanently harms other people.
  • Police Are Useless: Sometimes. Do some research on the subject, and then take a new look at the gun control debate.
  • Police Brutality: Rodney King. Any number of incidents you can find on Youtube or elsewhere.
  • Police Brutality Gambit: Also sadly real - and hurts not only cops but the actual victims of Police Brutality, by making their cases less believable.
  • Police Lineup: Often done with photographs more now, and somewhat fading from popularity due to misidentifications. Eyewitnesses are often considered one of the least reliable forms of testimony compared to CCTV and other video recordings, DNA, and other less partial and less easily influenced evidence.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: Has happened in some cases, which aren't to be mentioned or debated here.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: From Neo-Nazis to rapists and kidnappers who are the extreme of He-Man Woman Hater, to the Heteronormative Crusader who wants to literally invoke Bury Your Gays, bigotry, discrimination, and hatred of various forms are very common motives or partial motives for violent criminal activity.
  • Politically Motivated Teacher: There have been a few...
  • Polyamory: Yes, it's possible and does happen. Also, despite what you might guess from porn or Craigslist, the "man with two bisexual women" is only one of the many ways it can work.
  • Poor Man's Porn: Before the Internet, and especially before the VCR, pornography was not easy to access in many places in the world and was often fairly limited in scope. Bodybuilding and "physical fitness" magazines, therefore, became popular among gay and bisexual men, and National Geographic and lingerie catalogs and films of nudist colonies etc among both teenage boys and those who didn't want to risk being seen acquiring "real porn," if a place to buy it even existed where they lived.
  • Porn Stash: Plenty of people have one, maybe you, maybe not. However, with the rise of the internet, everyone has one, whether intentionally or not, since a large amount of the internet is porn.
  • Positive Discrimination: You hear this anytime you hear someone invoke how smart Asians are, or how Closer to Earth women are, or how the shaman's teachings are so ethical and enlightened as compared to anything else, or how the emotionally attuned gay man solved all his friends' relationship problems.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: Police officers investigating any call involving unknown/multiple suspects and military in urban combat have to be very careful, because the first person they take into custody or even kill may not be the only one or even the most dangerous one, and if they get distracted by that person or let down their guard, the other(s) may well attack.
  • Post Robbery Trauma: Though, far more serious than it seems on TV.
  • Pottery Barn Poor: Because poverty is often not the sudden loss of everything, and instant reduction to living in rags and being The Alcoholic. Some of the most successful anti-poverty and financial relief intervention is done with people at this stage, because it's becoming more and more obvious that it's easier to help people who are beginning the slide into poverty as opposed to forcing them to hit rock bottom first. (For example, lawyers to manage a successful bankruptcy and a foreclosure prevention aren't cheap, but they are far less expensive than comprehensive - and likely unnecessary - homeless services for a family of four or five, and keeping them in their home and schools and remaining jobs in the first place will prevent the psychological trauma that would take years of psychological and psychiatric therapeutic services to treat)
  • Potty Dance: You've probably done one as a kid.
  • Potty Emergency: Chances are, you've had one at some point in your life.
  • Potty Failure: Can happen as a result of fright, food poisoning, laxative overdose, or simply misgauging how long it is until the next toilet. Can also be a symptom of a serious medical condition if it happens without any precipitating factor or repeatedly.
  • Powder Keg Crowd: Riots and the conditions that lead to them are definitely Truth in Television.
  • Powder Trail: It happens. Often more so with liquid than powder - this is why you avoid sparks and open flame near gasoline or other flammable liquids.
  • Power Fantasy: Yes, you may have them. Expressing them in any context that anyone else (even your therapist, unfortunately) may find out about is almost always a bad idea - even if your expression is fictional, it's best hidden well away from any prying eyes and kept offline.
  • Power of Trust: Sometimes, it does make someone a better person and act more normal to know they are trusted, accepted, welcomed rather than feared and having to prove their honesty/loyalty/capability/whatever else is doubted every second.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Because not everything in life can be solved neatly and in the best ways for everyone.
  • Prayer of Malice: The Fundamentalist, the Heteronormative Crusader, and the religious Knight Templar have issued quite a few of these imprecations - all of which can be rather easily found if you choose to look. "Prayer warriors" tend to be especially inclined toward such.
  • Pregnant Badass: There have been quite a few. The act of carrying a pregnancy to term and giving birth, if you think about it, is pretty badass in and of itself.
  • Pregnant Hostage: Unfortunately Truth in Television because pregnant women are at higher risk of domestic violence (including being taken or kept hostage).
  • Pretty Freeloaders: They exist. In a lot of places, generally around the rich.
  • Pretext for War: Has happened quite a few times in history.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: It's a common subculture among some.
  • Pretty in Mink: Fur is often worn for style instead of warmth.
  • Prevent The War: Has been done a few times. Why diplomats and communications links for world leaders exist. Most notably successful so far in preventing a nuclear war.
  • Pride Parade: They definitely exist. Some of the largest are in Los Angeles and New York City and San Francisco, but they can be found in many places.
  • Primal Scene: Walking in on parents (or other adult relatives) having sex has happened to a lot of people.
  • Prison Rape: It only became a trope relatively recently because it was TiT
  • Privately Owned Society: See the article's Real Life section for details.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: The mad scientist stories had to come from somewhere, and OSHA regulations tended to be a bit loose when science was in its infancy. The mad scientist stories, and the stereotype we associate them with, came from Nikola Tesla. Those lightning bolts in the background were Tesla coils. In Europe, abandoned castles were squatted in because (since there wasn't a UNESCO back then) there was a lot of free space and they wouldn't disturb anyone. Scientists back in the day really were experimenting with electrobiology.
  • Profiling: Racial, class, and otherwise. There's entire industries (data brokering for example, and polygraphy) based upon it or concepts of it.
  • Psycho Ex: There are some people who really do not take breakups well. The trope is called Psycho Ex-Girlfriend, but it's more common among ex-boyfriends who stalk and harass and commit violence against their ex-girlfriends and ex-wives.
  • Public Service Announcement: Became a trope from its existence in reality.
  • Punch Clock Hero: People who do police work or who have joined the military because it was the only job they could get/because it was the best paying job they could get, and who don't really see their work as heroic or try to make it so - but who would and possibly have saved lives or helped people in the process of their work.
    • Google's and Facebook's content moderation staff. Imagine dealing with a stream of BS complaints (e.g. someone flagging a pic of two clothed adult men kissing because it offended their religion, someone whining that someone is being mean to them), copyright complaints, maybe some spam... and then all of a sudden, your next report is the most godawful child sex abuse content possible, and all that can be done is click the proper buttons to delete it and escalate it to law enforcement. Except, with that simple act of notifying the law in "all of a day's work," you may have saved a child from further abuse or provided the tip that gets the abuser arrested. And then it's back on to more BS, more spam, more copyright, and then your day's over...
    • Psychological intake counselors. Many of them (especially in the alcohol/drug rehab industry) are just there because it's their job/it's their internship. That said, they are also the people who deal with, day in and day out, some of the most tragic cases ever - and being the first step toward actual help many of the patients encounter.
  • Punch Clock Villain: For the given value of "villain", you could unintentionally be supporting someone or some group you deem to be "evil" just by doing your job.
  • Punch Spin Gape: Its actually a legitimate theatrical technique for faking fistfights.
  • Punished for Sympathy: Multiple Soviet servicemen and journalists were appalled at the treatment of German civilians, including mass rape of the women, sent complaints up the ladder or publicized it, and were jailed for their efforts.
    • The common punishment for anyone who aided and abetted someone declared an outlaw back in the day was to suffer the same punishment that the outlaw faced. Even now, harboring or otherwise knowingly assisting criminals is a crime itself.
    • Some people will often reprove others for being sympathetic and forgiving to criminals and other corrupted people in society, often labeling them just as bad as said corrupted people.
  • Punishment Detail: Yes, some drill sergeants and such do this.
  • Punk in the Trunk: Car trunks are sometimes still used to transport kidnapped people and bodies. In another variant, The Illegal will sometimes hide in a car's trunk while the driver goes through a border crossing...
  • The Purge: How most people kick off dictatorships.
  • Pushover Parents: There are some parents who can't bring themselves to punish their children, whether they're scared of the child's uncontrollable behavior or they hate to discipline them, fearing they will be affected by it in their adulthood.
  • Push Polling: If you've ever taken a survey, you've probably been a victim and don't even know it.
  • Putting on the Reich: Nazi or Nazi-like gear and regalia is used in many contexts from parody to shock value to deadly serious, just see the article's Real Life section.
  • Pyro Maniac: It's a real mental disorder, that happens in less than one percent of the population but is the second most common motive for arson after monetary gain.
  • Questionable Consent: Unfortunately, and a favorite tactic of many date rapists and pedophiles/hebephiles/ephebophiles among other predators. Can happen by accident (creating an unfortunate situation for all involved and let's just leave it at that), but most often is planned by a predator.
  • Quirky Household: A lot of households. Can lead to some very sad misunderstandings when the quirks are things that disturb or upset mainstream society (e.g. some marijuana legalization advocates, nudists, and Pagans have actually had their children taken away despite maintaining loving, abuse-free homes - and in the past, children were taken away from Aboriginal/Native families to be raised as "white" or "Christian" "for their own benefit," and in the more recent past, from GLBTQ couples for "moral" reasons or because the authorities seriously believed All Gays Are Pedophiles.)
  • Quit Your Whining: Often said by people to those who complain about something. Then again...
  • Quote Mine: A common tactic of people engaged in trying to make something or someone look bad or alternately, look good when it's not.
  • Rabid Cop: They're very common in Police Brutality cases.
  • Racial Remnant: People survive genocide and assimilation, as do their cultures.
  • Racist Grandma: Because people tend to hold onto ingrained beliefs, even if they have incredible Values Dissonance. Other times, can be a result of cynicism or mental illness.
  • Raging Stiffie: Most people with a male body have had one at one point or another. And that is enough said.
  • Ragnarok-Proofing: The Egyptian pyramids. Much of Roman architecture. Hoover Dam, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Mount Rushmore. Soviet military equipment. The entire country of Switzerland, with Finland very close to it. The Svalbard Seed Vault. Among many other places and things either unintentionally (when the rule of building was "dump as much concrete and brick into one place as is possible") or intentionally (with disaster and long-term existence in mind) created to survive anything.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Is there a chapter in the Mexican 19th century that doesn't has one of these? Also, any revolutionary group in the history of forever.
  • Rain of Arrows: A key strategy of the English during the Hundred Years' War and of the Chinese.
  • Raised Catholic: A lot of people have been, due to Catholic Christianity being one of the world's most common religious beliefs for one and a half millenia...
  • Rambling Old Man Monologue: Some forms of dementia older people experience (Alzheimer's, that caused by lacunar strokes or brain tumors affecting certain areas of the brain) lead to disjointed, rambling speech.
  • Ramp Jump: Can only be accomplished under very specific conditions, and very difficult to do with cars, which will tend to bear forward and fall in a head-on crash rather than land on their wheels. Motorcycles tend to balance easier, which is how Evel Knievel accomplished his famous stunts among others - but also how he almost died in a crash and many others have died in motocross wrecks and similar stunts.
  • Randomly Drops: Dollar stores, thrift/consignment shops, and lost and found are this trope's Real Life counterpart. Also, in large cities or other places with a lot of people, people will often drop or forget things from loose change to occasionally expensive or hard to acquire items.
    • Thieves (and on the other side of the coin, police raids of thieves or drug dealers) also run into this trope - things stolen or acquired in a raid can range from absolutely useless even for resale, to incredibly valuable and/or rare.
    • Locally, there is a tradition of getting rid of unwanted items during a move or after a yardsale by simply leaving them in a box by the side of the road. These boxeses can contain almost anything, and sometimes have amazing finds.
  • Rant Inducing Slight: Everyone has had this happen to them. There are thousands of examples to be found every day. NEW examples.
  • Rape and Revenge: Older Than Dirt Truth in Television, because even in many cultures that could be considered No Woman's Land, until very recently, rape was/is seen as an offense against not the woman herself, but the family/nation/kingdom/state/fiefdom/her husband/etcetera. As a result, rapes have started wars, led to very long vendettas, and often would set off the Cycle of Revenge.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Because it is.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Normal in some cultures. Also the natural result of a baptized Sikh's obedience to the requirement to keep kesh, along with some Christian women's interpretation of 1 Cor. 11:14-15. There are also multiple people who just happen to have this or who are trying to achieve this. Also pretty common among Visual Kei artists, especially from earlier times.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: There are some in real life who actually do want to help out the people they're in authority over and/or be fair and honest.
  • Rebellious Princess: There have been a few throughout history.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Why so many people are injured and killed in gun accidents (not even including intentional firearm attacks) every single day. If more gun owners observed even just the first and fourth rules of Gun Safety, this would literally at least halve the amount of gun accident injuries and deaths.
  • Recruiters Always Lie: Yes, they do. And not just military ones (though they're the most famous for good reason): tech company headhunters/startup people also tend to lie about benefits/hours/pay or similar, law firm headhunters do similar things, and on the low end, temp companies and ads hiring for the literally backbreaking sweatshop labor that is warehouse work will often lie about how good the conditions are (e.g. that there is air conditioning, that the quotas are reasonable, that breaks are allowed without getting written up and fired). There's also the classic "deferred pay" scam ("you'll get paid when we start making money, don't worry it will be soon!") that pops up in acting, modeling and similar and in startups, which on hearing, you should turn down the job with a middle finger aimed in the direction of the recruiter.
  • Recursive Ammo: The MIRV, for starters.
  • Redemption Equals Affliction: No matter how a person has chosen to turn their lives around, they will still have to pay for the crimes they have committed, one example being a criminal doing several years of community service.
  • Redemption Quest: Many people have been or are on one of these. The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and similar programs are a kind of codified version of a Redemption Quest from addiction and its often associated behaviors, for example, and anyone trying to actively rehabilitate themselves after a prison term or mental health committment is similarly on such a quest.
  • Redemption Rejection: Some of the worst people in the world have had chances to turn back, to not go through with what they did, to turn away from it before they crossed the Moral Event Horizon. What made them the worst was that they didn't even apparently think it over before choosing to go ahead with killing, with rape, with child abuse, with genocide, etc, etc...
  • Red Light District: There's quite a few in the world.
  • Redshirt Reporter: There have been quite a few, and some with severe weather have occasionally reached Memetic Mutation status. Sadly, reporters do actually get killed covering stories - there's a memorial online to journalists killed either in action or because of what their stories investigated.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: A huge issue for people who were once severely addicted/mentally ill but who are recovering (or who were more mildly so but rumored to be far worse than they actually were) and for reformed criminals. People believe that they need to protect themselves, or that ongoing shunning is somehow itself rehabilitative, or that there is no way to reform from what the person was or did, so they often angrily reject even their presence.
  • Rejected Apology: Unfortunately, there are some apologies that will be rejected, either if they are believed to be insincere, the actions were really that bad, or people are just too inclined in holding grudges.
  • Relationship Sabotage: Happens for a variety of reasons.
  • Relative Error: Siblings get mistaken for lovers in real life a lot, oftentimes to the disgust of the siblings. Sometimes the opposite happens. Just as squicky.
  • Reluctant Mad Scientist: Some of the most infamous weapons in modern history were invented by people wanting to make the world a better place.
  • Renaissance Man: Leonardo Da Vinci is the Ur Example, but there are many.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: Why there are so many variants on anything from religions to political movements to musical genres and more - and many of them are more similar than one might think, especially in religion where the smallest similarities have led to open fighting and hatred between the groups involved.
  • Restrained Revenge: Many times, when Revenge happens, because the person taking revenge wants anything from the person to live with knowing their defeat or that they were punished, and/or does not want to stoop to their level.
  • Retirony: Rare cases are present. See the page for examples.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: See Pimped-Out Dress.
  • Revenge by Proxy: The cause of many wars, and Older Than Dirt Truth in Television.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Demolition crews, filming videos in a location you're allowed to demolish, street art...
  • Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony: Happens from time to time.
  • Rich Boredom: Possible, especially among those who live in situations where or who are told that being rich requires them to live a certain way and act a certain way rather than freeing them to live as they wish, to travel, to help others...
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: True because many of the ways to become rich are NOT ways that require much intellectual effort. Attaining celebrity, inheritances, marriages, and winning lotteries can require literally none and just luck (and in the cases of celebrity and marriage, sometimes good looks), athletics, business, and investment require a little more intellectual capacity and applied skill but are heavily luck as well. Doctors and lawyers are comfortable, but most don't break the multimillions to be "rich." Most scientists and the like are nowhere near it unless they were lucky enough to be invested in a biotech or pharmaceutical company or similar. As for common sense, that's normally developed via experience - something someone who is a multimillionare by 16 to 21 isn't going to get as much of unless they go out of their way to educate themselves in both academic and social/"street" smarts and experience life as normally as possible.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Happens generally with middle class people when they're the ones doing the choosing (e.g. they can and will interact with both poor and rich people, sometimes romantically) A variant of "having the poor to choose from" happens to rich people who still have social interaction with poor people (e.g. a musician who works in a scene where there's everything from fellow millionaire legacy artists, who hit it big in The Eighties or The Nineties, to the broke Starving Artist trying to get their first pay-for-play live gig in The New Tens, is likely to interact with both rich and poor people if he or she chooses to do so)
  • Ridiculous Exchange Rates: Happens due to hyperinflation; as of 2009, about 300 trillion Zimbabwean dollars are worth one single US dollar. The most famous example was the Weimar-era German mark.
  • Ridiculous Procrastinator: Yes, they exist, and you may be one.
  • Right Hand Versus Left Hand: Infighting and similar drama due to miscommunication or misunderstandings is unfortunately common everywhere.
  • Right in Front of Me: Yes, sometimes people are stupid enough to badmouth or plot against others in their earshot or even directly to them. Worse, sometimes it's not even stupidity but a form of showing dominance and engaging in emotional abuse - they know the person they are trashing can't do a thing about it.
  • Rightly Self-Righteous: Examples are unnecessary, but a good number of people can be very condescending, even if they are on the right.
  • Right Through the Wall: Some people have sex very, very loudly, and some of those people do so in situations where others can hear them either out of exhibitionism or out of necessity (they live in an apartment or are in a badly soundproofed hotel).
  • Right Wing Militia Fanatic: They exist and have existed. Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City federal building bomber, was one of the more notorious. Alex Jones is famous for pretending to be one (though being a quite successful Non-Action Guy at the same time) and at inciting them.
  • Ring... Ring... CRUNCH: This is so common, there are actually products to prevent this: Meet Clocky and the Sonic Bomb.
  • Ripped from the Phone Book: Before the internet and smartphones became common, this was how people who didn't have a pad and paper or some other means of writing on them at the time "remembered" needed phone numbers.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Envy and jealousy can drive people well past rivalry to hatred and to the Moral Event Horizon and beyond.
  • River of Insanity: There have been quite a few expeditions (as well as other journeys such as flights and even local train travel) where the person in charge of the expedition or operating the transport ignores the weather, the conditions of everyone and everything, the proper speed or pace, and anything else possible with a single-minded goal of just getting there. These almost always never end well - in the expedition variant, almost everyone or everyone but one or two survivors always dies, and in the vehicular transport method, this has led to more crashes than can be counted especially once cars and buses are brought into the equation.
  • Road Trip Across The Street: Actually a good idea if not literally across the street, if one is in a situation where one might not get to come home, even if home is close (e.g. evacuating from severe weather) or will have to stay at the destination for a while (e.g. your relative is hospitalized and it's your responsibility to watch their pets/kids).
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Some wars have been like this, and of course there's the spree killers and terrorists and such who have cited revenge as a motive for their crimes.
  • Roboteching: Many guided weapons actually do this.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Though not common, superior tactics or sheer weight of numbers have defeated superior technology. This was apparently one of the reasons the Japanese won in the Russo-Japanese war, too. There's also the Whack-a-Mole theory: wherever you wipe out insurgency one place, they'll just pop up somewhere else, ad infinitum. Iraqi insurgents, the Viet Cong, and Afghanistan over the last 50 years are examples.
  • Rogue Juror: A few of them have derailed trials and sentencings, making the trial be declared a mistrial, causing the jury to become a hung jury, or requiring the selection of a new jury.
  • Roll in the Hay: Making love on a hay barrack in the countryside has been done for centuries and remains popular to this day.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: It is proposed that eight out of ten Japanese women had experience with such relationships.
    • Even in Western countries, it isn't uncommon, though it has gotten less common over time. Heterosexual girls will sometimes set their Facebook status to say they're married to their best friend because they're aware that they could be mistaken for a couple.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Satanists, basically.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Poor people and people who don't like to spend much money on clothes at one end, Punk Rock and Visual Kei fashion at the other.
  • Runaway Bride: An anonymous bride left the groom at the altar and ran away with his witness who was also his best friend. And they all lived happily ever after (except the groom).
  • Runaway Fiancé: Because many people do not want to be involved in the Arranged Marriage or the like.
  • Running Both Sides: Feudal families and families in medieval Europe due to lots and lots of incest. Corporations that allow people to run competing businesses and fix prices for them. Some politicians who would rather see war than reconcile it. Arms dealers to militaries.
  • Ruptured Appendix: Yes, it happens in Real Life. And it IS fatal if untreated. This is why, if you have severe stomach pain in the lower right side or that started there and spread, you go to an emergency room, and you DO NOT take a laxative or otherwise try to force a bowel movement - the pressure/stimulation of bowel contractions can cause the appendix to rupture.

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