Trope | Photo | Quote | Link | Chat | Audio | Video
Accentuate the Negative: Tumblr users seem to enjoy doing this to their favourite works of fiction; it's not uncommon either for someone to make a lengthy post deconstructing something in order to demonstrate why it's actually the most depressing, horrifying and / or darkest thing you'll ever experience, no matter how cheerful or uplifting it appears to be on the surface, or essentially hijacking someone else's post of a typically cheerful, uplifting moment to point why it's actually sad and they should feel sad. If Tumblr users are to be believed, then Dean Winchester cannot crack a harmless joke without it being a soul-destroying reflection of his myriad psychological issues, John Watsoncannot even glance at Sherlock without experiencing a crippling attack of Gayngst and the Doctor can't do anything at all without it being the most depressing and heartbreaking thing ever.
Most of the users themselves fall into this category. The sheer number of posts about social awkwardness, shyness and the excitement they display over fandom developments is staggering.
All Issues Are Political Issues: You can find long tracts analyzing pretty much anything, even a character's hair length, articles of clothing worn, or the arrangement of the colors used in a particular logo, in terms of their political undertones. Particularly notable examples can be seen in the social justice sphere, where many things not normally seen as political can be used to incriminate a series on the basis of having offensive implications.
Angrish: The use of strings of keyboard-mashing gibberish such as "djhjrnfhbhnjh" is common to denote strong emotions, especially excitement and rage.
Arch-Enemy: With Facebook. Alternatively, 4chan considers Tumblr this. Especially /co/ due to yaoi fangirls and rampant shippers which they feel bring in the more annoying (to them) aspects of fandom and make discussing things besides Shipping a chore if not impossible. The vitriol got even worse once The Legend of Korra premiered and Tumblr practically exploded in Korra love, fanart and shipping wars.
Something Awful has a distaste for the site, though it's mostly due to the nerditynote Something Awful has an unbridled, unironic hatred of nerds., "hugboxing"note An echo chamber of positivity that deflects any legitimate criticism, and social justice warriors.
Within Tumblr, 'Fandoms' (people who blog mainly about their favourite TV shows, movies, etc) and 'Hipsters' (people who use the site mainly for introspection, inspiring images, etc) appear to be locked in a deadly rivalry, which primarily takes the form of fandoms 'hijacking' hipster posts that they feel are excessively pretentious with fandom references, and hipsters... complaining about the fandoms doing this, mainly.
Even the fandoms themselves can get into wars, like the rivalry between Superwholock and Homestuck.
This extends into people who hate fandoms (and nerd stuff in general) who have a particular Berserk Button for a certain fandom, never passing up the chance to shower fandom members in venom. Hetalia and Homestuck are popular targets.
Hardcore Vegans/Vegetarians vs meat eaters.
Art Imitates Art: A lot of users post iconic paintings, especially if they're Pre-Raphaelite or Neoclassical. Some of them tend to be memish remixes and post-modernist modifications. A few Tumblrs are for actual art galleries and artists who've had their stuff toured.
Ascended Glitch: An exploit allowed you to reblog yourself, particularly with extensions such as Missing e. Tumblr has since made self-reblogging an official feature.
It is perfectly OK to blow off some steam and post about how much you vehemently hate something, but don't tag it. The fans of that thing who track the tag will see it and you will be ripped many new ones.
Changes are never welcomed. Even if it's just a new button.
Posting artwork without crediting the original artist ("sourcing"), and by extension, "editing" artwork (ie, "tweaking" them with graphics). Especially seen as a problem in fandoms of anime and Japanese games, where ignorant (or lazy) users often upload Japanese fanart without mentioning the artist, providing a link to their site, or putting links to the wrong source.
"DEAD!" / "I'M DYING" (Responding to something that's hysterically funny, usually a meme)
Any variation of "If you don't reblog this, you are a horrible person."
"Kill yourself" is, unfortunately, a very widespread favorite among question-askers. It's enough that .gif remixes replacing cat scares and dramatic reveals with "kill urself" are popular.
"ur a faget" and variants are also used similarly.
"It got better!" (Used when reblogging a post that you've reblogged before because whatever happened in the comments afterwards made it better)
Calling something "gross" when it has unfortunate implications.
"[Thing] is [adjective]." "It's called [other name for thing], you uncultured swine."
"If you don't like X, then I'm sorry, but you're wrong/we can't be friends.
"I CAN'T BREATHE" (for when someone saw something so hilarious or absurd they're laughing so hard that they...well, can't breathe)
"Example #X of why Tumblr users should not have children/pets."
"Make John Green find the thing!" is the standard response to posts about authors doing things, such as slapping English teachers for getting the meaning of the original works wrong. John is infamous for responding to posts about him on his Tumblr.
"You had one job, [X]!" When a character messes up a seemingly simple task.
"I like your shoelaces."
"WHAT WAS THIS SHOW EVEN ABOUT" for when a random screencap appears that may or may not make sense in context.
"did you just" / "you did not"
"I love how this post began all normal and then it just... tumblr"
Character Blog: The roleplaying community; to be more specific, there are ask blogs (either drawn, text, or cosplay) and rpers, which are split into independent rpers and members of a specific roleplay group. Probably older than most visitors think, but the majority of roleplayers are characters from newer series.
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: "Night bloggers", who blog in the middle of the night while extremely tired and are responsible for the most bizarre text posts imaginable. And when we say bizarre, we mean it.
Also, fans who are suffering from waiting for new canon material often post very strange stuff.
ESPECIALLY Homestucks. This happened within about 2 days of the start of the megahiatus.
Don't forget the Sherlock fandom.
The Supernatural fandom has turned as crazy as the Sherlockians during their hiatus.
The Hannibal fandom was made of this from the start. Including their official blog.
Comically Missing the Point: Parodied. Sometimes there's posts depicting a gruesome fictional scene. People will express their dismay... at all of the minor, non-offensive things in the picture.
This is particularly popular with a series of violent Barbie photos. Ex: Severed limbs will be strewn around the kitchen while Barbie is holding a knife and someone will comment on the horror- that she is doing dishes in high heels instead of more comfortable shoes.
Sometimes a video is posted but sometimes, alternatively, scenes are made into sets of gifs for quick viewing pleasures.
Most users will post/reblog photos of celebrities they find attractive, sometimes accompanied by indelicate comments or tags about them.
Some users even have a sub-blog as their personal porn stash.
This love for erotic materials is most notable when Yahoo bought Tumblr and people were terrified of rumors that Yahoo was going to get rid of all of the porn. It even prompted the higher-ups at Yahoo to issue a statement assuring people that they weren't going to get rid of the porn.
Eagleland: Played for Laughs and parodied, usually with stock photo of a bald eagle juxtaposed in front of an American flag. Example:
Blog Post: Here in [insert country], it is our Freedom Day holiday.
Reply: In America every day is Freedom Day! *Insert Stock Photo*
Emo Teen: A good portion of the Tumblr demographic, these (depending exactly where you are on Tumblr) can sometimes be a minority of users. Others users often insult and quite often parody it.
Everybody Hates Mathematics: A large chunk of Tumblr users seem to hate mathematics, as evidenced by the percentage of posts in the "mathematics" and "math" tags consisting of posts complaining about math homework rather than posts about math itself. It's generally the exception to users complaining about seeing hate in their tracked tags.
False Friend: Apparently, Cole Sprouse. We were a sociology experiment. People took things a bit too far, though (ranging from immature edits of wiki pages to death threats).
Fangirl: A majority of female fandom bloggers on the site.
A bunch of fansites following the convention fuckyeah__. Common alternatives are "hellyeah", "heckyeah", or "fyeah", if the person in charge doesn't want to swear in the blog title. Then there's "feckyeahfatherted" "frackyeahbattlestargalactica" "darvityeahartemisfowl" "fokjayolandi" and "fookyeahdistrict9".
And, of course, "flipyeahrichardayoade"
Yaoi Fangirl: There is also a large yaoi fanbase on the site as well. In fact, the majority of the girls on there can and will ship any gay pairing as hard as they can, the more nonsensical the better. There's something of a running gag on the site that, on Tumblr, there is no such thing as heterosexuality.
Food Porn: Many blogs post richly-colored photos of food for seemingly no reason. Some blogs exclusively post pictures of this. People also share recipes, cooking tips and the like, as a lot of food porn posters are "foodies".
Foreign Culture Fetish: A lot of Tumblr users seem to be hardened Anglophiles, although their vision of Britain in many cases is based more on the fact that their favourite TV show and / or the actor on whom they have a crush originates from there rather than an understanding of the country as it actually exists.
Friendly War: On May 2012, Europeans liveblogged about Eurovision 2012. America declared a Banana War on the Eurovision posts by reblogging bananas.
Get Back in the Closet: Averted. For a time, certain tags such as "gay", "lesbian", and "bisexual" were blocked by Yahoo, being perceived as homophobic behavior. The actual reason for the restriction was that these tags are highly, highly NSFW and Yahoo choosing not to risk shutdown of the Tumblr app and exposure of pornography to minors, the Yahoo staff decided to close these tags temporarily in order to work on a better filtering system. See here.
The users often characterize Tumblr as being divided into the hipster side and the fandom side. Which don't like each other very much, generally. The photograph and art tumblrs are generally left alone.
Hollywood Atheist: A number of blogs on Tumblr really, really, really dislike religion.
Hurricane of Puns: The people of Tumblr love puns. It is not uncommon to see a post that has a several-reblogs-long chain of puns about the original subject.
Hypocrite: It has been noted that there appear to be several bloggers who tend to proudly express sentiments that are generally anti-white, privileged, cis-gendered men in nature while also being big fans of actors who, more often than not, are the kind of white, privileged, cis-gendered men they should otherwise be intensely opposed to (such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, the cast of Supernatural and the various actors who've played the Doctor in the new series of Doctor Who, all of whom have overwhelmingly large fan-bases on Tumblr).
Also, most teenagers on tumblr will complain about being assigned essays for school, when at the same time, they'll write a hundred pages on why Loki blinked looking at Thor.
Image Macro: A number of tumblogs are Image Macro factories, of the sort that recycle one image that represents the subject of the meme (generally with a pie-style background in various colours) and put different captions on it.
Large Ham: Almost everyone on the site has made a really hammy post, some more often than others.
Link Blog: What tumblogs often become in practice.
Mad Libs Catch Phrase: As noted, single topic tumblogs that catalog or reblog a single focused topic, frequetly fannish, are often titled "fuckyeah(subject)" or the more mild "fyeah(subject)", "effyeah(subject)", "hellyeah(subject)", or similar constructions.
The Man Is Sticking It To The Man: It's a little hard to take some Tumblr users' vision of the site as an exclusive secret society seriously when it has over 100 million registered users and is owned by Yahoo.
Mood Whiplash: Depending on the blogs you follow, your dashboard may have something horribly depressing, some porn, some Nightmare Fuel, and some silly joke posts, all within the space of ten posts. The same thing can happen while doing an Archive Binge of somebody else's Tumblr.
It can run into it on your blog as well, if you reblog a number of posts simultaneously whilst your queue updates. Has led to the on-site description "Tumblr: Puppies to Porn in Seconds."
Case in point being any CLAMP related blog where you have a fluffy love confession with sakura petals or a few cute children with angel wings on one post and a torn out eye/cut of limb/some mauling on the next. These bloggers usually complain about how they ruin their own lives with this and then post/like/reblog something sugary seconds later.
Moral Myopia: Certain unscrupulous Tumblr users won't hesitate to spam inboxes with abusive asks or mocking reblogs, but when people do it to them, HARASSMENT IS ILLEGAL, I'M CALLING MY LAWYER.
Nerdgasm: Some bloggers get very excited about their favourite shows. A trailer alone can cause massive squee attacks.
NSFW: It's best not to do searches while at work or around the family, lest you run into porn (of all shapes). Fortunately, there is an app out there to save you from the nasties or whatever you don't want to see. Except for the things that were not tagged correctly.
The kinds of blogs you follow can help cut down on anything you don't want to see, but it can still go from puppies to porn in two seconds.
There's a lot of otherwise unremarkable blogs with luridly NSFW titles like "crackofsatansass" or "dave-striders-throbbing-cock".
Otaku: A large portion of Tumblr could be considered as such.
You can only make 250 posts per day. This isn't a problem at all if you simply use Tumblr like a more traditional blogging platform, but if you reblog things a lot this can easily create problems.
You can only send 5 "ask" messages per hour.
Poe's Law: The sheer amount of relative extremism over literally anything - fandom wars, political opinions, et cetera - can make it very hard to determine who's actually being serious and who's just seeing what they can get away with.
Political Correctness Gone Mad: Tumblr is home to left-wing, anti-oppression bloggers who are disparagingly known as "social justice warriors", and they are often accused of being this due to their practice of angrily "calling people out" for not recognizing privilege for a variety of reasons. Many of them migrated from the social justice community on LiveJournal, which had (and still does) a similar reputation.
Tommypom, Tumblr's more or less official mascot, is a Pomeranian owned by one of the site's engineers. The staff likes to show him off in their own personal blogs, as well as using him to promote the site and notable editorial stories.
Rule Number One: A surprisingly big amount of Tumblr users seem to blindly follow this one.
Tumblr's Rule #1 seems to be "Don't Post Anything From Tumblr on Facebook."
Running Gag: Reacting (seriously or otherwise) to something innocuous as horrendously offensive to a minority/fanbase/common morality/celebrity/fashion.
Satire/Parody/Pastiche: Very common to find these type of themes blogs, either in the form of pretentious hipsters, or angry social justice warrior. They sometimes come in the form of Stealth Parody as well.
Scenery Porn: There are quite a few Tumblrs dedicated to pretty pictures of scenery. Sometimes with a theme, such as skyscrapers, scary-looking places, or abandoned buildings. Sometimes not.
Serious Business: Gifs. Losing a follower is often treated like a death scene in one's favorite movie, with .gif spams of Heroic BSODs. About the only thing that doesn't make it more serious is that Tumblr doesn't tell you who exactly unfollowed you, and that's usually easy to suss out if you're not a very popular blog.
As mentioned in the description, shipping is also very serious business at Tumblr.
Soap Box Sadie: While not as big a presence as amateur photographers, it's very hard not to run into social justice activists on Tumblr. This is a consequence of many LiveJournal users - also known for their activism - migrating to Tumblr.
A lot of people who primarily post other stuff — fandom stuff, art, Scenery Porn, whatever — will dabble in social justice blogging (or reblogging), in addition to the more dedicated activists.
There's a divide between radical feminists and the "mainstream" SJ movement (particularly on transgenderism and homosexuality). In fact, there's usually a divide on about any issue - it's not uncommon to see bloggers fight each over about how offensive something is, how extreme one should be when dealing with issues (the aforementioned divide isn't limited to radical feminists versus everyone else), or what direction social justice should take and what issues they should tackle. Also, the plural/otherkin/transabled community and animal rights community try to integrate into the "mainstream" SJ movement — but continue to remain on the fringes.
The character of "Social Justice Sally" is a parody of this tendency, sending up bloggers who know all the buzzwords and vitriol but lack any real understanding of the actual issues, and will hypocritically attack anything that they think is offensive, while letting other blatantly bigoted things slide because it's not their problem, or because they're bigoted themselves.
Suddenly Shouting: When excited, some users tend to start screAMING IN THE MIDDLE OF A SENTENCE.
Take That: From the example chat on the "new chat post" page, taken from an Overheard in New York post:
Tourist: Could you give us directions to Olive Garden?
New Yorker: No, but I could give you directions to an actual Italian restaurant.note As backstory, Tumblr (and a chunk of its userbase) is based out of New York. Many New Yorkers absolutely despise the chain restaurants that cater to tourists around Times Square. This is taken from the "Overheard in New York" site.
There Are No Girls on the Internet: Averted with this site, where a large majority of the site's fandom-based Tumblrs are run by females (read: yaoi fangirls). Most of the straight porn blogs are actually run by women.
This can even be seen as an inversion, in fact—it's (usually) not entirely shocking if you have a hard time finding any men running blogs on Tumblr.
It's come to the point where many just assume all users they come across are female unless explicitly stated otherwise. Which can get a little disconcerting for those of us who are guys on there.
This, combined with the fangirling over celebrities and huge amount of porn, was rather brilliantly summed up by the statement "Tumblr is like this weird alternate universe where 15 year old girls obsessively stalk 40 year old men in vans".
There's actually a fandom for the "men of tumblr", mainly for doing silly/creative things, or subverting gender roles.
Oddly, this data has recorded 2% more males on tumblr than females.
Urban Legend: It is trivially easy to attribute a post to the staff blog, or CNN, or any number of reputable sources that never said a word about it. Apparently this is all it takes to convince large numbers of users it's legit. This can be anywhere from psuedorealistic articles, tabloid-style gossip, or passing off gifs and pictures from fictional media (or even something hilarious) as something deep/meaningful/edgy/real.
To figure out if it's legit or not, click the username. If links to the specific post, it's real. If it leads you to the blog's main page, someone's trying to trick you.
It's also fertile ground for more traditional urban legends, usually of the Lurid Tales of Doom variety such as rape gangs using lost children as bait and HIV needles in petrol pumps.
There was once one that went Up to Eleven with this. Somebody posted an image of them with a old toy with a button and said that the button would release a virus on tumblr, closing it. Despite the obviousness, the intended misspelling of "Tumbler", people still believed it. It got so bad, the staff removed all traces of the post, and even reported the user who made the post.
Averted during the Eurovision Song Contest, when you'll be flooded with Europeans mocking the U.S. for not joining the fun.
Also a frequent accusation towards certain social justice warriors who tend to apply the cultural and racial mores of America to the entire website regardless of whether the person they're condemning or not is even American. Eurocentrism, especially, is considered a problem by activists.
What You Are in the Dark: Users can be this, specifically the ones who run very classy unassuming SFW blogs. The thing is when you like something NSFW it won't appear on your blog (as opposed to re-blogging). HOWEVER the person who blogged that thing you just liked can actually see what you just liked. It can be kinda jarring seeing a born-again Christian female like that gorn post, or that DP/facial/lesbian/gangbang/bukakke gif set, sleazy story or whatever you just posted.
And they're right. Despite all the flak Tumblr takes for the "social justice warriors," if someone seems even vaguely suicidal, their inbox will get spammed with positive messages like some sort of emotional SWAT team was alerted.
Often, a follower of that person's blog will post on their own, asking others to send that person messages to help them feel better.
You Keep Using That Word: You can find any word on Tumblr and see it used in any context, even in contexts not appropriate for it's meaning or phrase, so don't be surprised if you end up thinking this, a lot.