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Truth In Television: V-Z
Visit entries from: A to C/D to F/G to I/J to L/M to O/P to R/S to U/You are here
  • Vacation Episode: If someone is middle-class or above (or lucky enough to hit a windfall or be invited somewhere or win a contest or similar), there's a fairly good likelihood they will travel for pleasure. Some places are created solely to rely on this - good examples being Las Vegas, Hawaii, and almost any resort location anywhere.
  • Vagina Dentata: The Rapex female condom exists to create this as a form of self-defense against male rapists. The sharp plastic teeth detach into a rapist's penis, with the objective being to cause enough pain to stop him from raping the victim and to make him an easy target for police when he goes to a hospital to get the teeth removed.
  • Vague Age: Stereotypically common in the US in women over 30. Visual Kei artists in Japan of any age tend to do it (younger ones to seem mysterious and older, older ones to seem younger and more relevant)
  • Valley Girl: They still exist, although not just in Los Angeles and nearby environs.
  • Values Dissonance: Lots of it, everywhere. In the US, compare Los Angeles with anywhere other than Austin in Texas for example. Or worldwide, Amsterdam with Tehran or Vatican City. Or South Korea with North Korea. Or fifty years ago with today.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: While actual vampires probably don't exist (unless the Otherkin are right), thanks to sociocultural memes, playing the role of "vampire" to good effect can tend to make someone appeal sexier than, say, playing the role of a zombie or other undead. Many people in the goth scene and in music use this to their advantage.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: People in the real-life Goth "vampire" subculture are this - human blood is only consumed in small, safely taken amounts as ritual, if at all.
  • Verbal Tic: It happens, just not with every single person. Francophone Canadians often say "lá" ("there") at the end of each sentence, Mexicans do the same with "wey" and "ese" ("dude" and "this", respectively), Argentinians start their phrases with "che", and Americans use "like", like, every five words. And not just, like, the Valley Girl types (thanks to MTV). Most famously...
    • It's become a pastime of many Canadians to use their verbal tic when around Americans.
  • Very False Advertising: Fast food advertising does this all the time, at any possible chance for it to do so. Vacation rental/time share ads are also infamous for it, as are some apartment rentals and similar. The Tourist Trap is infamous for it. "Before and after" ads for diet products or plastic surgery. Pharmaceutical and medical product ads that depict people healthier and more active than most would be by the time they use the product, anyway.
  • Viewers Are Morons: Why there needs to be Television Is Trying to Kill Us, "Don't Try This at Home" warnings, the Sabotutor doing And Some Other Stuff needs to exist, and various other means to stop people's stupidity from actually harming them.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: How many of the more sophisticated criminals who do manage to get caught/arrested do so - they don't keep informed of law enforcement tactics or change their own tactics or ideas, doing the same thing while the cops understand how it's done or that it's being done/infiltrate thoroughly with informants. Or they use tactics that are amateurish enough or obvious enough to guarantee police attention such as open violence, even when they should know better from experience.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Adolf Hitler, at the end of his life in the bunker. Averted with Hirohito, who was either a Karma Houdini or far less involved than his military was, but either way, didn't have a breakdown despite far worse happening to his country. Narcissistic rage - when a narcissist's plans have failed or he or she has lost control. Dictators or other failed leaders who decide to destroy as much of their own country with them on their way out.
  • Villainous Rescue: There have been quite a few occasions when people who would be seen as "villains" have indeed rescued people - for example, John Rabe, the Nazi who protected people in Nanking from the Imperial Japanese army. The Laws and Customs of War actually mandate this in war in some ways - by prohibiting firing on parachuting aircrews or the wounded, and mandating that POW chaplains and medics be allowed to function as medics for anyone in need of their services.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Even Adolf Hitler had some innocuous hobbies, and most criminals/dictators/etcetera tend to have some interests or hobbies that don't revolve around killing people and committing crime.
  • Vindicated by History: More than a few people. There are several politicians who were widely hated during their term but are now fondly remembered by history books, for example.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Happens quite often in Real Life.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Glasgow is the murder capital of Western Europe.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: These tend to start anything from the Bar Brawl to Malicious Slander if even slightly upset by someone as much as flirting with their man. Beware.
  • Virginity Makes You Stupid: Only true in a very limited circumstance: virginity plus/as a result of abstinence-only religious education combined with being very sheltered or isolated from outside information can make someone ignorant or even willfully stupid in regard to things related to sex (especially how it works, how to do it in a safer way, etcetera). A bit more true historically in societies when young women weren't educated in regard to anything aside from keeping the home.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: Some cultures throughout history have done this.
  • Visible Invisibility: There are quite a few interfaces that require a visible or audible token of action for something that is invisible to convince the user that something is indeed happening. A couple of examples are the hourglass (in Windows) and the spinny candy disc (in OSX), and hold music or recordings instead of dead air so people stay on the phone on hold rather than assume the call has ended.
  • Visual Kei: Some artists and fans dress in the style and/or even maintain complete personas offstage.
  • Virtual Celebrity: A few of them are around like Vocaloids.
  • Virtual Ghost: Programmers working with the band X Japan made a hologram of a late member (lead guitarist hide) that was both a Virtual Celebrity and very, very close to this idea from the realism INA and the other programmers achieved with the image. Programmers also did this to bring Tupac Shakur to Coachella 2012.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: A lot of friendships can involve in playful insults, bickering, and just plain fighting each other, most especially in children and teenagers.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Radio DJs, Mike Tyson, Steve Blum, and several others do not look how you would expect them to based on their voice, and vice versa. This was a very real problem back in the days when "talkie" movies were new, and many actors lost their jobs because their voices were so silly.
  • Vodka Drunkenski: Russia and the former Soviet republics still maintain the world's highest rates of alcohol abuse and alcoholism per capita. So while it is a stereotype, it's also unfortunately a true one in many ways.
  • Vote Early, Vote Often: Election fraud is a problem in many places, though voter fraud (e.g. voters actually committing the fraud as opposed to parties or institutions or something else along the line) is far less common in the US than people who want to restrict or limit voting might suggest.
  • Wacky Cravings: Many people have them and not always as a result of pregnancy.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Geeks love asking their soulmates in ways like that. And people take great lengths (e.g.: ball games, fireworks, et cetera)
  • Walk and Talk: Some people like to have discussions this way.
    • Also a way to have discussions without being observed by Big Brother: turn off all mobile devices and go for a walk in an area where the nearest bugs are far away.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Beaches, though often this is Fan Disservice more than sexy. Bodybuilding contests, male models, and musicians also provide them.
  • Walking the Earth: Being a hobo is about Walking The Earth for a while, finding all sorts of small jobs, with nothing but a backpack, enough money to stay fed, groomed and with a place to sleep. Pre-war Gypsies and modern Travellers also are similar. Touring bands or artistic acts are similar, though their Walking the Earth is generally planned and limited to the tour. Some journalists do this on purpose, as well.
    • The concept of "location independent living" is this, albeit with more comforts, and once someone reaches a certain level of wealth, they are free to walk the earth in as much comfort and pleasure as is possible.
  • Wangst: Because not all angst is appropriate to age or situation. Often a frequent cause of conflict when someone suffering from wangst expresses it in a way that insults more legitimate angst (e.g. someone posting to a forum to whine about a thief stealing their IPod and how that makes them understand someone whose house just burned down) or is extremely inappropriate (threatening suicide over a broken toe or common cold).
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having: Sometimes the award/reward/certificate/degree/trophy/etc is not worth the effort of getting there. Other times it is worthless or useless. In the worst cases (the reward being a high-maintenance house or vehicle, some animals) the reward is itself demanding of resources and time and effort, or (the reward being an Arranged Marriage or the like) life-changing in an unwanted way.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Yes, there are some people like this in real life.
  • Warrior Poet: Yes, there are some creative and artistic people in the militaries of the world. Also describes people who write about wars/military fiction and the like.
  • War Refugees: Probably every war in history has produced some. Some have produced a lot.
  • Warts and All: How most real-life heroic people are, because they are indeed human.
  • Was Too Hard on Him: Parents will often feel hurt in punishing or use other forms of discipline on their children, especially if the child is very young.
  • Water Is Blue: But only a very slight amount. Go look at pictures of tropical beaches. It's either blue or green.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Many people, especially because many things don't require extreme physical perfection or strength.
  • Weakness Turns Her On: Many women don't necessarily seek strength or physical power. A Domme might wish to have a more submissive partner, while someone else might find the idea of the 5"6 waifish nerd that happens to be a multimillionaire far more appealing than that of the 6"5 muscled-out ex-soldier with no job and a criminal record for beating people up.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: The reason most people in Real Life that have weapons do. On a larger scale, nuclear weapons are this.
  • Weapon Jr.: A child who frequently with a child's bow and arrow is a lot likely to take well to archery, and anyone who wants their kid to become comfortable with shooting for hunting or sport purposes will usually buy them toy guns starting fairly early on, because aiming and sighting skills don't need to be taught with a real gun and can therefore be learned fairly early.
  • We Are Not Going Through That Again: This in regard to Naziism and to a lesser degree Nazi-style fascism is why Godwin's Law has the power it does, why "Nazi" is still something few people want to seriously be seen as or identify as, and why even the slightly softpedaled Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn movement eventually faced its own downfall - very few but actual Neo-Nazis or the absolutely insane want to go through that again.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The political spectrum is a line, not a circle. A very long line. But still a line.
  • We Can Rule Together: Adolf Hitler used this on a few occasions - but those who agreed, aside from Mussolini, usually found themselves invaded and occupied by the Nazis anyway.
  • We Have Reserves: Extensively used as a tactic by, among many others, the CSA during the US Civil War, both the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese during World War II (the IJA's use of it bringing the word "kamikaze" into common vernacular for a suicidal attacker), and several African warlords who used Child Soldiers as cannon fodder. It's widely assumed that this + Zerg Rush + The Deadliest Mushroom is North Korea's "plan" to fight (more like lose) a war.
  • We Have Those Too: Quite a few people have assumed others to be more backward than them technologically or intellectually, only to realize they are the truly backward ones.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: Has happened, and tends to happen in places and situations where the prevailing rules of politics involve lots of betrayal and odd alliances, or where the person's information or skills or connections are worth the risk that he or she will betray again like with some spies and informants.
  • "Well Done, Dad" Guy: The stereotypical "Disneyland Dad," a divorced father who hopes to earn his children's love by financial support and lavishing expensive gifts and vacations on them. Fathers who were abusive or addicted or absent or something similar but recovered/got help/reformed somehow and hope their children can forgive them.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: There's plenty of men who are seeking the approval of a father or father figure or older brother or a coach or teacher or similar.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Relationships where one partner seeks to "improve" or "motivate" the other by making them aware of how much of a loser they are do exist. Unfortunately, most of these relationships in Real Life aren't anything near romantic, and it's a major red flag of Domestic Abuse, at least of the emotional and/or financial types.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The real world version is a lot scarier, actually.
  • We Really Do Care: Announce that you are closing your Face Book or leaving Twitter. Watch the responses roll in. The Attention Whore and Drama Queen live for this, and may threaten suicide to accomplish it in its most ultimate way - which makes life just that much worse for the actually suicidal and depressed.
  • We Sell Everything: Wal-Mart and Target and other wholesellers, who were steamrolling the competition for a while, until they began to destroy their own markets and lose space to online and home shopping... as shopping malls, which had been another example, and the department store, which had been another example before that, had done before them. (And ironically enough, it was the first department store, Sears-Roebuck, that first popularized the same home shopping using catalog and post/phone that Amazon and Ebay now dominate using the internet.) It is only a good business model in the short term, and as you can see from the pattern, cyclically.
  • Western Terrorists: The Irish Republican Army had a few people that could be considered this (even if you believe that Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters). Various types of the Mad Bomber including the Unabomber and Timothy Mc Veigh, both of whom caused the most deaths on US soil via acts of terrorism before a certain day in 2001. Members of some types of the Animal Wrongs Group and similar environmental groups, although they tend to limit their violence and destruction to property and to releasing animals (which can be problematic in and of itself in some conditions). Some far-right/racist groups such as the Golden Dawn in Greece and the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang in the US. "Enforcers" for The Cartel, The Mafia, and The Mafiya.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Sometimes friendships end amicably or drift apart or at least end without drama. Other times, ex-friends do become bitter enemies.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Fairly common in a variety of ways: for example, the jerk was the one who bothered flaming trolls or spammers enough that the trolls or spammers finally left the community alone, or his/her misanthropic attitude allowed him or her to write far better stuff than he/she wrote as a happy Stepford Smiler, or the change in attitude is insincere/creepy, and/or the result of a conversion to a philosophy or religion no one in the group believes or shares.
  • Whale Egg: There are some products made for humans to approximate the feeling of laying an egg, and we'll just leave it at that. Also, there are the echidna and platypus, which lay eggs instead of having live births.]
  • What a Piece of Junk: Older vehicles (anything made before around The Eighties) are impervious to EMP. If a nuke ever goes off or a Carrington Event happens again, they are likely the only vehicles that will be capable of running. Also, if a car has existed and is still working despite being built more than 30 years ago, it's a quality vehicle no matter what it looks like.
  • What Could Have Been: There's more than enough of this to go around, for every single person in the world. In fact, some metaphysical theories claim that our lives are split into many different paths of what could have been.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Often money, power, connections. Sometimes he's just good in bed, or at something else that makes up for his general loser self.
  • Wild Child: There's a few examples: Kaspar Hauser, Genie, and a feral French boy. None of them ended up that well off.
  • Whammy Bid: People make these in auctions. Sometimes, because they really, really want what's for sale and are willing to pay any price. Other times, it is done as a form of Trolling, to ruin the auction, or being a Manipulative Bastard to drive down bids when the fake is found and everything is reset.
  • What the Fu Are You Doing?: The usual result of someone trying to invoke I Know Mortal Kombat.
  • What the Heck Is an Aglet??: Cruciverbalists of the world have been through this all too much. Which is why there's a huge market for Crossword Puzzle-specific dictionaries.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Many parents of special needs children often feel this way, especially if it's their first child. This trope is why 4 out of 5 parents of autistic children divorce. Even if they don't outwardly say it to the degree it's portrayed in fiction, they often feel this way inside, because, yes, life would be a lot simpler and cheaper if their kid were different. Or if society changed so that autistic children and otherwise disabled children were valued for themselves rather than seen as problems or burdens...
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Phobias are common, even silly ones (like peaches, balloons, pickles, chickens), etc. If it exists, someone in the world has a phobia of it.
  • Wiki Walk: If you're reading this, then chances are good that you're participating in an example of this trope!
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: Very uncommon, but definitely real. This was ostensibly true in ancient Persia, since it was a religious edict of Zoroastrianism. They throw around the word "truth" like Americans do with "freedom".
    • Might also be your experience of cultures where the idea of little white lie does not exist.
  • Wind Turbine Power: Wind turbines sprout like mushrooms all over the planet because they work.
    • The real question is: do they work good enough? Also, lots of lobbying tends to muddy the issue.
  • Wiper Start: To the embarrassment of many a new driver.
  • Wishful Projection: Another Freudian trope.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Turkmenbashi was a very... eccentric ruler. Yes, he was a dictator. But he didn't have gulags. He was primarily weird.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: The need for food is universal among animals and humans, and larger amounts of and specific kinds (more nutritious in specific ways, or providing of certain ingredients) of food are needed for those whose occupations or hobbies are physically (and in some cases mentally) demanding.
  • Wolverine Claws: Ninjas used the Nekode and Indians used the Tiger's Claw for fighting
  • The Worf Effect: Used by police to break up fights and riots before they really start.
  • Worthless Foreign Degree: Sadly true.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Common in gangs and mafias.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: See Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Happens a fair bit online, more rarely but scarily in real life.
  • Wretched Hive: Somalia. The slums of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Lagos. West Africa. A few very bad neighborhoods in the United States. Look hard enough, and you will find them all over the world.
  • Yiddish as a Second Language: What kind of schmuck needs this one explained, anyhow?
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Examples can range from personal to those which affect the entire countries.
  • You Can Panic Now: Locked-In Syndrome. Global Warming Climate change. Nuclear war. Leprosy. Jack the Ripper. The goblin's gonna getcha if you don't... watch... OUT!
  • You Must Be This Tall To Ride: Safety regulations require that you be tall enough and large enough to be secure in the safety harnesses and not risk injury or death.
  • Your Other Left: The bane of those giving directions over a mobile phone.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Against professional advice, people have paid ransoms to international terrorists to have their family members released. At this point, the terrorists decide that they can get even more money from the families of these hostages and demand even more payment. Also, it has happened in reality for a criminal or terrorist to state they are going to free someone, be it to the family of the hostage or to other captives, only to execute that person, or for that person to already be dead.
  • Zettai Ryouiki are a very popular fashion item among girls and young women in Japan.

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