Sabotutor: Sometimes happens in abusive relationships. In a more benign case, happens when the teacher realizes the person he's teaching is not going to use the skill for anything good (e.g. a gun instructor realizes his student is planning on committing a murder) and tries to make sure the person will be as ineffective as possible, while also likely notifying authorities if need be.
Also an Enforced Trope (sometimes by Moral Guardians and other times by law) in almost all televised or otherwise demonstrated drug chemistry, explosive chemistry, and similarly dangerous activities that require a process of steps or ingredients or the like - even in depictions intended for adults' eyes only. Important ingredients, process steps, etcetera will be left out, in the hopes that, say, people can't learn how to make methamphetamine from Breaking Bad or that kids watching an educational show about science won't accidentally create a bomb with mentos and Coke. Famously Lampshaded by the Mythbusters when cooking up Thermite: "don't mix blur with blur"
Sacred Hospitality: In much of the world for a very long time, hospitality was required of people in this way. In fact, the reason for the story of the destruction of Sodom in The Bible was not homosexuality but was that the residents of Sodom were cruel and xenophobic rather than hospitable, to the extent of raping guests who had the temerity to stay in order to humiliate them.
Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: The amount of time you need to spend to become an expert on something is, on average, around 10,000 hoursnote 1 year, 51 days and 16 hours. That time has come from somewhere - usually socialization.
Sadistic Choice: One of the more common and more nasty Dirty Social Tricks. One key to escaping it is remembering that there is almost always a third option, even if the third option would risk your health/life/finances/etc as much as one or both of the offered options, it might actually be worth it to avoid the person making you make such choices.
Safe, Sane and Consensual: The ethical approach to sexual activity, especially sexual activity that could involve risk beyond the usual.
Safe Word: Yes, people do use them. And if people don't, you should probably not be doing BDSM play with them.
The Savage South: Until recent times, areas near the equator were seen by many Europeans and Americans as not only unpleasantly hot but also arid or sopping wet and full of dangerous large animals like panthers and lions. If the heat or animals did not kill you, the diseases borne by biting flies or mosquitoes would. Modern advances in dealing with disease and wild animals have resulted in a more "friendly" outlook on these places as the risks are more easily managed.
Sand Bridge At Low Tide: Mont Saint-Michel, a French islet near the coastline of Normandy. The Bering Strait at one point.
Sanity Slippage: Because when people become The Mentally Disturbed in real life, it's often a slow, agonizing public process for things like Alzheimer's dementia, uncontrolled addictions, or schizophrenia (e.g. everyone involved knows something is wrong, often including the sufferer himself/herself), or a slow, subtle, private process until the illness is moderate to severe (anxiety, functional addictions, depression, and OCD often fall in here - in the milder stages of depression, for example, you might just feel a bit hopeless and pessimistic, and no one around you can tell your inner state).
Sarcasm-Blind: Young age, and/or being unfamiliar with a culture and its means of sarcasm can cause this.
Can also happen with people on the autism spectrum. There's also neurotypical people who don't get sarcasm. Like the Dumb Blonde, or anyone unfamiliar with a language and/or culture. Aphasia and aprodosia, where because of a brain injury, someone physically cannot comprehend what you're saying, are some other reasons.
Sarcasm Failure: Sometimes, even the most snarky people can be overwhelmed by something so tragic or stupid there is no point in snark, either because it is Too Soon or not funny, or because the situation is so stupid it snarks itself.
Scam Religion: They have existed. No real life examples are allowed, but people throughout history have used religion or even created religions or sects with the express or at least secondary intent of separating followers from their money.
Scare Campaign: How many political campaigns are run, because fear, uncertainty, and doubt appeals to low-information voters.
Scary Amoral Religion: Some followers of monotheistic legalistic beliefs believe any religion that doesn't have a strict law code and a deity that enforces it is this, because "how can you be good without (our) God?" Alternately, some atheists and followers of religions with a hedonistic, humanistic, polytheistic, or pantheistic view view monotheistic religion with strict law codes as this - "if we rely on a book to always give us our ethics and morals, we are giving up our responsibility as individual moral beings to those who interpret that book."
Schizo Tech: Around us every day in most places, though at its most extreme in developing countries or places of poverty or disaster. That said, if you're reading this page on a desktop computer while in a 1970s-built building, drinking a beer (ancient) or a soda (early 1900s) as you do so, while checking a text on your smartphone, you are an example right now.
Schoolgirl Lesbians: If you're in high school or college, you probably know a few. Aka "LUGs" (Lesbian Until Graduation) or "Daddy's money lesbians". Bisexuality is the new "I'm soooo drunk".
School Newspaper Newshound: At least at the high school and college levels, this trope has surprisingly become moreTruth in Television over time, since schools are often somewhat less bound to corporate media interests, there are less consequences for someone who hasn't become established in official media yet, and citizen journalism + No Such Thing as Bad Publicity has become popular among younger people. The result is that especially at the college level, a college paper reporter might have far more latitude to investigate and write a hard-hitting investigative piece and/or freelance write it for the local alternative weekly or an internet site than an establishment reporter with a long career that could be damaged beyond repair from the wrong backlash.
Scope Snipe: Carlos Hathcock pulled this off during the Vietnam War, but it's near impossible to do unless under the exact conditions.
The Scrappy: Bill collectors are one of the most hated professions out there largely in part due to their (justified) very bad reputation. Attorneys and estate agents, politicians, the list goes on.
Screaming Birth: Because giving birth is not a fun or enjoyable or painless experience for most, especially with natural childbirth.
Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Some people cannot be bought, and this is why sometimes offering a bribe can get someone nowhere except in deeper trouble.
Screw Yourself: Is possible via realdoll or other sufficiently realistic mannequin/wax doll/etcetera, or having an explicit content roleplay with someone whose avatar looks exactly like your own in Second Life or World of Warcraft.
Scrub: They exist everywhere and not just in gaming, but in anything where someone can be (falsely or rightly) accused of cheating or gaming the system or not playing "by the right rules."
Sdrawkcab Alias: Often used for corporate naming or for places people aren't creative or interested enough in inventing a creative pseudonym.
Sealed Evil in a Can: Any drug (legal or otherwise) with a serious potential for addiction or a fatal side effect.
Sealed Good in a Can: The Svalbard seed vault and other heirloom and traditional seed and plant vaults and storages - the only hope of the world to avoid starving to death in the event of anything from nuclear war to a genetic modification mistake. Reserves of vaccines, medications, and other necessary health items so if there is a pandemic or a major disaster that reduces healthcare to pre 20th century levels, there's some chance at saving lives from it and/or bringing conditions back to their pre-disaster levels.
Secondary Fire: Many weapons have burst and autofire modes or even grenade launchers attached to the gun.
Second Law of Gender Bending: Applies to many if not most real life transgendered people, even if they aren't able to pass fully or their life as who they are is more difficult than had they just "not changed," etcetera.
Secret Identity: Instead of superheroes who do this in real life, though, it is people such as spies (who have to create new personas and identities wherever they go), identity thieves, and various internet trolls. Though it's also done by non-trolls on the internet who want to have one identity to engage in conduct that their family or boss might not approve of, or for an argument with or activity against people one does not wish to be personally identified to (e.g. one is arguing with or organizing action against Neo-Nazis or violent homophobes) among many other reasons.
Secret Keeper: Some people do keep their friends or family members' secrets. Lawyers and priests are legally bound, in many places, to absolute confidentiality - anything you tell your lawyer or a priest/monk/similar is off limits to anyone else unless you choose to release the information. Spouses are also allowed to invoke this privilege at least in the US. Medical professionals including therapists can vary - their records can be accessed and subpoenaed easier than a lawyer's or priest's, for example, and if they themselves feel you are a threat (or sometimes, a drug user/drug seeker) they can act to inform law enforcement - but there is some level of confidentiality as long as you are not discussing anything related toward violence directed toward others or yourself, or the use/sale/possession/seeking of controlled or banned substances.
Secret Test of Character: Sometimes this is done to judge trustworthiness in an employment situation, for example. It's not a very reliable method, at least when done with small-value items (e.g. the person might pick up the pen left on the desk thinking they're given free to all interviewees, or the unpaid intern might steal the occasional office supplies/take home the leftover coffee or food/pocket a dropped quarter from the floor but is otherwise highly trustworthy.)
Secular Hero: Belief in God or gods is not necessary for someone to save lives and/or property, as the many atheist or agnostic police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians and emergency medicine/trauma surgery doctors (among many other professions that protect life and property) will happily tell you.
Seen-It-All Suicide: Some have happened. Can also happen when the person who is at the top realizes everything is about to crumble out from under them and they are at the best moment of their life right then and there.
Seinfeldian Conversation: It is arguable that there is nothing more realistic than this trope. Indeed, an argument over that would be the perfect example. Absolutely any conversation will turn into this if entered in the middle.
Selective Enforcement: It happens by any law enforcement agency ever. Sometimes, it's a good thing (if every petty law was enforced to its full extent at every possible moment in the most literal way, there would be no one who was not a criminal, which is actually why Zero Tolerance is such a bad idea), and other times not so much (when money or political influence allows people who should be arrested and prosecuted to get away with their crimes, while poorer or more stupid people are vacuumed up for doing far less and sentenced far more harshly to fill the jails, e.g. someone who shoplifts $50 worth of food or clothes is arrested and jailed, someone who steals five billion dollars is a bank CEO given a congratulatory pat on the back and a bailout)
Self Guarding Phlebotinum: Most of the worst nuclear sources that could be used to create a viable nuclear weapon but aren't already encased within one and even most of the radioactive sources that could create a "dirty bomb" or widespread serious contamination are so radioactive they would kill any terrorist or criminal who tried to make one or spread the contamination - meaning only the suicidal, who don't tend to be the most educated and capable scientists, would even try - and their lack of knowledge and skill would only hasten their deaths. It's argued that this is the reason why there hasn't been, to this day, a nuclear terror attack: the building of nuclear weapons or even nuclear dispersal devices is just too dangerous and no country that can make them is willing to sell them.
Self-Made Man: There are a few people who might qualify as such, but even most of them have had help (at least via privilege, e.g. being white and male and heterosexual in a society that values that, and often a lot more help than that).
Seme: Some gay and bisexual men are exclusive tops, and some of those are also dominant in the BDSM sense of the term, and someone falling into both groups (exclusive top, BDSM dominant) would technically make them this. That said, none of them would likely use this term to refer to themselves, as it is a construct of a form of fiction they would not read.
Senseless Violins: The 2008 Northern Illinois University shooter managed to bypass the campus security by packing a pair of shotguns inside a guitar case.
Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: A definite Truth in Television for some artists and musicians, and even justified slightly in that sometimes the use of mind-altering substances can be seen as necessary to access inspiration or work on a nigh-impossible schedule or the like, and that having consensual sex with lots of different people or with Friends with Benefits is very much an individual preference which some people might choose over a more stable or "normal" relationship, especially if their lifestyle (long tours, being a workaholic) would ensure the failure of a more traditional relationship.
Sex Is Evil: Believed by some religious people to be a necessary evil for procreation alone, or evil unless kept within very strict rules and bounds.
Sex Is Good: Believed by some of those same people for their specific type(s) of allowed sex. Believed by most people in general who aren't asexual (and by most asexual people who believe it is, it's just not for them).
Short Cuts Make Long Delays: Oh, they DO. Especially if they contain things that can injure you or damage a vehicle or both, if the way is really obstructed and you have to turn back, if it places you somewhere your maps or GPS won't help you and you get lost...
Shotacon: In real life, this is a crime called child sexual abuse.
Shotgun Wedding: They have existed, and sometimes still do, though the "shotgun" in more modern times tends to be social pressure.
Showing Off The Perilous Power Source: Don't look directly at the sun, a solar eclipse, a nuclear explosion, or something being welded, and wear your ski goggles. A lesser degree of this with easy recovery (as an example of why you shouldn't) can be induced by staring at any light source (from a match to a lightbulb) for a few minutes. And don't stand too close to a steam engine that is discharging steam either!
Shut Up, Hannibal!: A few have been delivered in real life. The example of Native Americans giving one to Nazi Germany in the real life section is probably the best example. Namely, if you are conducting a racially based genocide, trying to get a population that was and was even at the time still being victimized by one to support you is not the best of ideas unless you want to be very angrily cut off at the pass.
Shy Bladder: It's called paruresis, and people have been fired because of it when they couldn't pee for a drug test. And yes, before you ask, there have been lawsuits.
Sibling Seniority Squabble: Common in royalty and feudal societies where being firstborn was often very important for inheritance reasons.
Sickbed Slaying: One of the most underreported and underinvestigated forms of murder when it takes place, along with other people who are easily written off to dying as a result of their lifestyle/other causes/suicide (the Disposable Sex Worker, drug users, the homeless, The Mentally Disturbed, prisoners...)
Side Effects Include...: A quite large amount of pharmaceutical advertising is like this, and you've likely seen one ad or more.
Silk Hiding Steel: Any society that places a premium on property has had women who do this. An example would be the wives and daughters of ship captains in 19th Century New England.
Silly Reason for War: Quite a few feudal and medieval wars (and ancient wars) were for reasons that most people looking back today would finds silly or outright stupid and pointless.
Single-Biome Planet: Mars (desert), Jupiter (Cloud), Neptune (Cloud), the moons Europa and Enceladus (Ice) and Io (Volcano)
Single Mom Stripper: Usually due to economic reasons, those being that stripping is one of the few careers that doesn't require extensive experience, has somewhat flexible hours, and pays far more than welfare or child support in general.
Signs of Disrepair: As a look around Fail Blog and occasionally where you live can tell you.
Sink or Swim Mentor: Live fire training and chemical weapons training for military members, as well as the Navy SEAL and the SERE courses for elite military members in the US. For firefighters, training inside a real burning building.
Smoking Hot Sex: Some smokers do tend to smoke after sex. If you're a smoker with external genitalia it's a good idea to wait until afterward - nicotine can cause impotence both in the short and long term because it causes constriction of blood flow.
Smoking Is Cool: To some, and that is part of why complete abolition of tobacco seems almost an impossible task despite the health benefits of cutting global smoking rates to zero. The Forbidden Fruit trope also ensures that too strong of efforts to portray it as uncool or to ban it entirely or make it illegal will unfortunately only make this trope stronger.
Smoldering Shoes: Explosions sometimes blow off shoes, and Moral Guardians and Squick usually ensure that the shoes with body parts still in them can't be shown in newscasts or in official news outlet images. Hence, cameramen and photographers look for images with the least gore as possible (or alternately, the most they can get past the radar, or both at the same time) and blown-off (or abandoned so someone could run faster) shoes match that standard.
Snipe Hunt: A very common form of hazing or practical joke is to send someone on a search for something nonexistent.
Snow Means Cold: It generally does. Averted by fake snow and trucked-in snow during spring or summer.
Snow Means Death: Homeless people and others caught out on cold, snowy nights (especially if they are underdressed) are at risk of hypothermia and death from it, as are, depending on how cold the temperatures are, people in unheated dwellings.
So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Some people are treated with less respect or assumed to be hired based on appearance if their appearance is incredibly beautiful. Also, some beautiful people who aren't necessarily interested in dating other perfectly beautiful people (e.g. a twink that finds fat bears attractive) are often limited to them, either due to the disbelief less than perfect people would have at being approached by them or the social stigma that comes from "trading down" to a person viewed as less desirable than oneself.
Solid Gold Poop: Ambergris is whale vomit. It's also extremely valuable for use in perfumes. Guano. Not as valuable now as it used to be. For centuries, it was used to make saltpeter and phosphorous, which was used for explosives and gunpowder. Now, it's mostly used for fertilizer, and some of the world's best coffees owe their rich flavor to this particular fertilizer.
Solve the Soup Cans: Standardized testing are claimed by some to be the real life version of this.
Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond: Narcissists tend to live off of this. Unfortunately, that view can make people who are justly concerned with the opinions of others seem narcissistic when they want to be not sure they are universally loved, but sure that they are not universally or offensive.
Soul Brotha: A stereotype in media portrayals, but one embraced by some real black men (usually entertainers of various sorts), much like Camp Gay is embraced by some gay men.
Sorry Occifer: The reason why, if you are drunk or high, not talking to the police by stating your right to silence and need for a lawyer, and then shutting up (if you live somewhere where you have this right) is the best legal advice you can possibly ever follow. And you got it here free.
Spammer: Unwanted commercial or promotional messages, fraud, harassment with multiple unwanted messages, ad nauseum happens to any new method of communication once people figure out how to do it - and then it becomes a Lensman Arms Race between people wanting to spread tons of crap and people wanting to stop it or not recieve it. It happened with mail (junk mail), phones (telemarketers, various con artists, crank calls), and then reached e-mail, instant messages, text messages, and any other source it possibly could. If someone ever were to develop a form of cybernetic telepathy, it would be highly likely that within weeks, people would be getting overloaded with telepathic spam. The aggressive commercialization and exploitation of any available means of communication in real life is, in fact, what made the trope.
Speak Ill of the Dead: Some people do this, either out of inability to drop old grudges, the desire to avoid someone being rewritten as something better and holier etc than they were, or out of new information being revealed as a result of the death or an investigation or the like afterward.
Spikes Of Doom: Caltrops, which aren't in and of themselves that deadly but are used to blockade areas for air or infantry assault, so if you see them, you're likely not going to survive. Also, some people have made spike pit traps.
Spit Take: Yes, people often do this in reaction to a shocking image or piece of information.
Split Personality Merge: One of the recommended forms of therapy for real life dissociative identity disorder - to integrate the personalities into one.
Split Personality Takeover: Invoked by some high-demand religious and other organizations and abusive situations: a person is forced to dissociate via abuse and/or More Than Mind Control techniques, and they will become angrier, more judgemental, quicker to violent solutions, less capable of independent thought, and/or possibly even develop learned helplessness and timidity as well as or instead of those. The concept has a name of the "cult personality," though it isn't only so-called "cults" that can invoke it.
Spock Speak: Asperger's Syndrome and legalese (though usually not to this degree). Justified in the legalese case, when the document has to be airtight. Still funny, though.
Spoiled Brat: There are children like this. Some adults, too.
Spontaneous Human Combustion: HIGHLY debated whether the traditional variant actually happens or not (e.g. internal forces causing a human to burst into flame). More likely true is the "hidden flame" variant, with a small flame catching the fat of the body on fire and burning it quickly.
Spotlight Fallacy: A lot of people believe in it, which is why people are more afraid of terrorism than car accidents, or more afraid of nuclear accidents than of smoking cigarettes. Never mind you're far more likely to be killed by a distracted or drunk driver (which could even be yourself) than a terrorist, and far more likely to get cancer from smoking cigarettes or being around second-hand smoke than from Chernobyl and Fukushima combined unless you lived close to either.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: One of the biggest spotlight stealers ever is sauces and sugar. In cooking, dough is essentially the main character, but who cares about him? He's bland and tasteless on his own and his side characters of sauces and sugar are the reason why you're there in the first place.
Celebrities. Arguably, the news media disproportionately focuses on events in the lives of famous people, often to the point that it actually takes attention away from important events like say a war or a political corruption scandal. Sometimes celebrities use the fact that they are a spotlight stealing squad to help other people, like by using their fame to draw attention to important issues like poverty or disease.
Spot of Tea: VERY true for many Brits and Japanese both.
Spousal Privilege: One of the subcategories of Secret Keeper above - spouses do not, generally, have to testify against their spouse unless they choose to do so.
Stalking Mission: Detective work involves a lot of this for both police detectives and private detectives. Probably even more for the latter, because their cases involve more of the things where stakeouts/tracking/etcetera are valid investigative tools.
Standing Between The Enemies: Police officers and peacekeeping forces sometimes do this, either metaphorically or even literally in the few times they don't just shoot everyone. Conflict mediators and negotiators of various sorts also try to do this by talking both sides down. It's also the point of having a workable legal system - lawyers and judges and juries handle conflicts as intermediaries.
Starfish Aliens: It is most likely that if non-Earth based life is ever discovered, it will be this: anything from bacteria to bugs to other life that bears no resemblance to humanity, because evolutionary conditions on non-Earthlike planets are different, and the conditions of other planets (atmospheres unbreathable to humans, temperatures too hot or cold) demand extremophile creatures - which humans really are not. Even given a perfectly Earth-like planet, there is no reason evolution would have to develop human or humanoid or ape-like creatures instead of reptiles or dolphins or cockroaches.
Start of Darkness: If you want to be really, really depressed, realize just how many of these are happening in abusive homes alone, every single day.
State Sec: The NKVD/KGB and the Stasi on the left, the kempetai and Nazi informants on the right. Among many, many, MANY others.
Stating the Simple Solution: Happens quite a lot in various environments (such as militaries and politics) where jargon and complicated plans tend to rule the day. People who do this often don't tend to last very long in such environments because they are seen as "too idealistic" or not playing the game properly.
Statuesque Stunner: Most female models and supermodels are expected to be tall as well as very thin.
Stop Helping Me!: Backseat drivers and GPS often cause more problems for drivers. Some charity efforts that actually hurt or get in the way of helping. Autocorrect and autocomplete. And as of recently, people who like speaking for minority groups but often end up causing more trouble than help.
Story Reset: Writers can and often will retcon just a few events rather than an entire story. In nonfictional media, corrections are this: correcting false or misleading information already published, in the hopes the correction will be read (or is at least there to be pointed out)
Also why Encyclopedias get new editions every year, and why textbooks are constantly updated. As new information comes to light or perspectives/points of view on things like history, science, literary criticism or other fields of knowledge change, the cultural/intellectual narrative changes with it, creating an effective story reset. This, for instance, would be why many accepted theories or facts taught in universities fifty years ago would largely be considered outdated or discredited ideas by this point in time.
Stout Strength: Incredibly strong men often look more rotund than body-building. Just watch the weightlifting portion of the Olympics. Or sumo wrestling.
Stranger in a Familiar Land: Step 1: Go abroad for work/study/etc. Step 2: Stay there a couple of years, if not months. Step 3: Go back home and try to fit back in.
Strawman Has a Point: Yes, even people who are stereotypically "strawmen" can have legitimate points. For example, the Straw Feminist may consider pornography or the Male Gaze "rape" - but that doesn't make her opposition to actual rape any less invalid or more deserving of condemnation. Or the Straw Vegan might view owning animals as animal abuse but that does not make his/her arguments against circus elephants less meaningful.
Student and Master Team: Sometimes people do train apprentices or new workers to replace them. Bands also provide some great examples of this: one of the fastest ways to improve your skill as a musician is to get into a band or be a roadie for a band where you are directly working with the person who is very, very skilled at your instrument or role if he or she is willing to teach you.
Stuff Blowing Up: If there's hypergolics around, almost anything they are accidentally on or in can become explosive, even the ground itself. A good example of this is the Pepcon Disaster where hypergolic rocket fuel managed to create a huge chain reaction of Stuff Blowing Up.
Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks: They exist because the human posterior is, for a lot of people in a lot of cultures, a very sexual sight or image - and because as many people have discovered in various ways, the anorectal-perineal area has quite a lot of very sensitive nerve endings. Obviously, with the role the region has in human sexuality (even if it's denied) it will make its way into music about said sexuality.
Stupid Scientist: Although in real life, the stupidity is often the result of working towards a predetermined result desired by a patron for fiscal or political reasons.
Stylish Protection Gear: Silk has properties that allow for diminished arrow penetration (there would still be non-lethal wounds). It was used by Mongol warriors and samurai. It's also fireproof.
Straight Gay: Contrary to historical portrayals, most gay people appear and act just like most straight people.
Street Urchin: One of the most serious social problems everywhere in the world.
Subculture of the Week: News programs tend to do this very often, and they were the first to create the trope.
Succession Crisis: Plenty of historical examples. There was even a whole war called "The War of Austrian Succession".
Suckiness Is Painful: There are some musical notes, bad color/pattern combinations, and other things that literally can cause people to feel dizzy or nauseous or, in the case of sound, actual pain.
Sugar and Ice Personality: There are people like this. Usually they are more guarded with strangers and more warm to people they know well, though the reverse is true sometimes in people with abusive families or with friends that would happily betray them - being more guarded with these "familiar" people and being more open with people who don't seem to be threatening.
Suicide by Cop: Both intentional and accidental types exist, and happen almost every day.
Suicide Dare: Unfortunately very common for people to tell this to other people who are suffering.
Suicide Is Shameful: Many cultures have strongly stigmatized suicide, viewing it as an act of selfishness, cowardice, or, according to certain religious sects, a mortal sin against God. Not only is it harshly discouraged, but it is also illegalized, although the criminalization of it in western societies had declined.
Super Fly Reflexes: Some people have swatted flies in midair. It's easier with moths and mosquitoes, though, as they're slower - most people can swat one of them in midair.
Surprise Creepy: Life is full of this. Even things you didn't think were creepy once can later take on that tone (e.g. one of the neighbors who had the house every kid in the neighborhood hung out at was arrested, years later, for child sexual abuse)
Surrounded by Idiots: Everyone who's ever had a day job can attest to this. Or been in PublicHigh School.
Survivor Guilt: In all of its forms including "I survived this accident/disaster and my family/friend didn't," "We did the same things, why was I the lucky one to live?" and "Why wasn't I there to save him/why couldn't I have brought him here sooner?" one of the most common sources of grief and suffering in the world. One so bad that people have been Driven to Suicide by it.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: Sometimes used intentionally when someone wants to convey dominance ("Yeah I did it, and what are you going to do about it, worm?"), or unintentionally when someone reveals details or an act that wasn't even being discussed or mentioned.
Swiss Cheese Security: Because not all people and not all buildings can afford the very best of security and maintaining the highest level of security practices is often unnecessarily paranoid and counterproductive for some industries. For example, in many lower end retail contexts such as groceries and big-box stores, it's far cheaper to have a certain level of shoplifting than it is to implement security so intense that it costs tons of money for guards and cameras and taking each case to court and the like, not to mention the angry non-shoplifter customers when they get patted down on leaving the store or followed everywhere in it.
Sycophantic Servant: Many people acting like this can be found in many places, and not just serving bad people.
Sympathetic Murderer: Again, no specific real life examples, but some murderers have fallen into this. Generally, it tends to be people who for some reason or another were not aware of the gravity of their act (e.g. they were children or teens and didn't know better/didn't have the impulse control they later developed, they were manipulated by a high-demand organization or an abuser giving them orders, they were/are mentally ill) or who were aware of the gravity of their act but felt as if they had no other choice (e.g. abused spouses, borderline self-defense cases, law enforcement officers). It also tends to be very subjective: for example, police officers will see the police officer who killed in the line of duty as this, while others will just call it Police Brutality, and some people will see children who are murderers as needing help and treatment, while others will see them as proof that they are already beyond the Moral Event Horizon.
Tail Slap: Even horses can makes use of it to an extent. With elephants, it can be fatal.
Take a Third Option: Because there is almost always one, including inaction itself, walking away from the situation, asking for advice, and so on - and sometimes taking the third option even if it doesn't seem workable or reasonable is the best idea.
Take Over the World: Cliched now, but Adolf Hitler did want to do this via Lebensraum, and Emperor Hirohito and Hideki Tojo wanted to take over half of it via "The Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere," and technically, for much of the 20th century, the US and the Soviet Union actually accomplished it halfway for each. After the Soviet Union collapsed, the US actually did it for the most part (in a cultural and political and war-threatening sense) for a while - and part of one of the biggest debates in the world right now is if that was for good or ill, and if other nations gaining power again should be seen as a threat to the US... or simply as a legitimate balance of power that the world hasn't had.
Take That: There are a LOT of these in real life, as insulting people is a common thing.
Take Up My Sword: Has happened, especially in antiquity and feudal times when war was waged by families.
Taking the Bullet: Liviu Lebrescu, the professor who blocked the door during the Virginia Tech shooting, and principal Dawn Hochsprung at the Sandy Hook massacre - among many, many others who intentionally got in the way of people trying to shoot others in order to stop them or delay them.
Taking You with Me: Kamikaze from World War II and some terrorists, among many, many other suicide attackers. Stalkers and domestic abusers also can and will engage in this - which is why they are so dangerous.
Talking Down the Suicidal: Something many of us are quite capable of doing, and in some cases have done. Suicide prevention isn't solely for the professionals - in fact, many more suicides have been prevented with a friend as the "first responder" rather than a therapist or especially a police officer, because people are more inclined to listen to and believe their friends even in bad states (or at least to not want to cause them pain), and because while therapists and police officers can force people to get treatment against their will, forced treatment often doesn't do anywhere near as good in the long term as truly voluntary seeking of help.
Talking in Your Dreams: Relatively common, and more so if the sleep is induced by anesthetics/drugs. Which is why it's a good idea to make sure no one with recording devices around if you're in such a state, if possible.
Talking the Monster to Death: Civil disobedience, diplomacy, hostage negotiation and other forms of negotiation, mediation, and other ways of resolving problems, even with violent or threatening people, somewhat nonviolently.
Tanks for Nothing: Post The Nineties warfare, especially asymmetrical or guerilla or terrorist warfare - tanks are too big to maneuver in most urban areas, expensive consumers of scarce fuel, ineffective against suicidal attackers, and serve as big targets that can easily be compromised either by suicidal attackers on the ground or by air assault.
Tantrum Throwing: Angry or overworked parents and some children are prone to doing this.
The Password Is Always Swordfish: One of the most common passwords is... "password" or "password1" (since now most registrars require letters and numbers). The most common varies in length but is some form of ascending number sequence — i.e., "12345."
There Are No Therapists: Teen suicide rates are much higher than they should be, but it's more because they don't WANT to see a therapist for fear of rejection. Also because since they think with their amygdalas, which is the emotional part of their brain, not the logical part.
Bad experiences with therapy can lead people to never seek help again, even when it is urgently and severely needed. A bad therapist can be even worse than no therapist, for this reason.
The Glomp: Some people hug their friends like this.
Theme Naming: The Emperor Constantine's children. The Duggars' children all have names that start with J. Multiples (twins, triplets, etc) frequently get theme named. Retired heavyweight boxing champion/electric-grill pitchman George Foreman has named all of his children of both sexes "George".
This Is Not a Drill: Because of a phenomenon called "warning fatigue," sometimes it's very necessary to tell people that this alarm is for real and obeying it is important.
Too Much Information: Eventually, you will hear something or see something you wish you could erase from ever having been aware of.
Tough Love: Parents often use this to their children or friends as a means to keep them on the right path to life.
The Tourney: While it tends to stick to jousting, there were historical eras when that was the commonest form of fighting in tourneys.
Toxic Friend Influence: As many juvenile delinquents can attest to, and why people who are trying to stay abstinent from alcohol or drugs are often advised to no longer spend time with those who actively use the substance.
Translation Punctuation: English uses an exclamation point to represent sounds from other languages for which English has no equivalent. An example would be the clicks used in the Bushmen tongue.
Transparent Closet: Sometimes those of who are LGBT are the last to know for real. Although it can also be that there has never really been a demand to put up a "real closet" in the first place.
Other times, especially with celebrities, LGBT people might be well aware of who they are, and it might be obvious to pretty much everyone that they're gay or bisexual, but they just might not feel comfortable being publicly open about it because they don't want any attention for it, or they just don't think it's the public's business to know anything about their personal life, or they fear that actually coming out and stating their sexuality will negatively affect their ability to get roles. Sometimes they aren't closeted at all and are living openly with a same-gender partner but the media acts like they're closeted because they never held a press conference to announce their sexuality.
Trash of the Titans: As you can see in this site, and any episode of Hoarders or Clean House or similar shows. It's called "hoarding" or "Collyer Brothers Syndrome."
Trigger: Almost everyone has them in some form. Some far, far more distressing than others. See it's Useful Notes page for details.
Trigger Happy: The reason a lot of shootings (whether by police or civilians) happen. Especially if one feels as if one is in mortal danger, it is an instinct borne of paranoia that can be very difficult to override.
Troll: An undeniable Truth In New Media. If you spend any amount of time on the internet, you will see them, and you will likely interact with some even if it's just trying to banhammer them or keep them out - or you may be one yourself.
Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Note: Being funny and unique will not get you chicks... until you turn 21. Money and influence also helps.
Ultimate Job Security: Having a relative at the company will make your coworkers hate you, but at least you'll never be fired.
Tenure for education professionals is very close to this - it is very hard for a tenured educator to get fired.
If your bank is "too big to fail" and you are "too big to jail," your work in the financial industry is this.
Police unions are generally relatively strong. This means that firing police officers or demoting them aside from being Kicked Upstairs is often highly difficult, even for officers caught in Police Brutality or in being absolutely useless or corrupt.
The Unapologetic: It's unfortunately common of some people to never apologize or even feel sorry for their misdeeds, either due to pride, guilt, embarrassment, or because they enjoy it.
Undisclosed Funds: Swiss bank accounts. Also, talking about money was once viewed as crass, so people used these methods to do so.
The Unpronounceable: Indians working in call centers with American customers typically use adopted "American" names. It's also very common for immigrants to have an Americanized nickname, especially if they're from the Middle East or Asia. This is also associated with Eastern European consonant clusters, such as "Bydgoszcz." And good luck trying to say something if you don't know the pronunciation rules of the language.
Upper-Class Twit: Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and any socialite. Buddha was also one of such before leaving his castle.
United We Chant: Can happen often in sports arenas or anywhere many people gather; Barack Obama's US presidential run was littered with "yes we can!" and sports arenas often get "U!S!A!" or chant a player/team name.
Urban Segregation: The Independencia Avenue in Guadalajara, Mexico divides the city in two: the West side is the rich side, home to all the trendy malls, while the East side is the poor side, filled with gritty factories and impoverished ghettos.
Used To Be More Social: Some people who were mostly extroverted and sociable often become less so, especially if they're focusing on their own careers or are going through difficult times in their personal lives. This can be common with a group of friends asking the person why they haven't answered the phone for a couple of months or so.