* AcceptableEthnicTargets: The majority of predators busted are white men, many of whom are middle class or above. This is in sharp contrast to other reality crime-based shows, where the majority seems skewed towards low income minorities.
** Average income did notably fall, though, as the show became well known.
* CrossesTheLineTwice: The paedophile with the screen name "can_i_rape_you_anally". Now imagine that name being read in Chris Hansen's flat voice and NOT at least smirk.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: The segment and Chris Hansen are this to Dateline as a whole.
** Among the predators themselves, Lorne Armstrong. Well, about as much of an ensemble darkhorse as a pedophile can be, anyway.
* FridgeHorror: [[http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2008/may/31/features16.theguide6 Beautifully explained]] by British journalist and ''Series/BlackMirror'' creator Creator/CharlieBrooker:
-->And that "attractive young actress" who greets them by the door: make no mistake, she's hot. And at 18, she's US legal. Presumably someone at To Catch A Predator HQ sat down with a bunch of audition tapes and spooled through it, trying to find a sexy 18-year-old who could pass for 13. They'll have stared at girl after girl, umming and ahhing over their chest sizes, until they found just the right one. And like I say, she's hot. But if you fancy her, you're a paedophile.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: Former Subway's spokesman, Jared Fogle, appearing in the show as a commentator on the predator hunt, this was before he was ousted as a pedophile himself, made even more cringeworthy when [[HarsherInHindsight all he does is laugh at the child molesters and says how stupid they are for falling in the traps.]]
* InternetBackdraft, BrokenBase: Although these tropes likely existed as early as the whole "exploding GM cars" thing, they didn't really kick off until the whole "To Catch a Predator" bit got started. Proponents of the segment either feel that the predators deserved the humiliation, that the segment was necessary to scare pedophiles from soliciting sex from children, or both. Those who disapprove believe that the predators' crimes didn't justify Dateline humiliating them, that the segment [[KarmaHoudini enabled the pedophiles to get away with it]] (several cases were thrown out due to insufficient evidence because Dateline did the investigating, not the police), or both.
* [[JustHereForGodzilla Just Here For To Catch A Predator]]: Alright, this show has been running in some form for at least 20 years. ''TCAP'' lasted as a few standalone segments for 4 years. Now look at how many tropes cover just that segment... to make the point even worse, Hansen's career has covered a wide range of topics and crime reports, but he's mostly only known for the ''TCAP'' stings.
* MemeticBadass: No sex offender is safe from Chris Hansen. ''Ever.''
** Not even [[Franchise/{{Predator}} other kinds of predators]] are safe.
* MemeticMolester: Inverted. Chris Hansen is a memetic molester ''locator''.
** Played straight with some of the more memorable predators, like Michael Wilusz (genericwhitemale), Joe Wunderler (Vamale_692005), Marvin Lakhan [=(CrazyTrini85)=] and Michael Warrecker (can_i_rape_you_anally).
* MemeticMutation:
** "Why don't you have a seat right over there?"
** Brian Gosselin's incredibly creepy delivery of ''"Yeah..."''
** One notable pedo along with his very funnny voice: "It's a question!"
** Anything to do with the mythical "John Pedersen".
* {{Narm}}: The NBC staffers' readings verbatim from the chat logs between the decoy and predator, with voices ranging from deadpan or disinterested, all the way to overly excited.
* NauseaFuel: While all of the chats are disgusting, Joe Wunderer's and Marvin Lakhan's truly stand out.
* NeverLiveItDown: Their false claims about GM cars.
* ParanoiaFuel: "To Catch A Predator" definitely makes people think twice about soliciting sex online.
** [[NewMediaAreEvil Or letting their kids use online chatrooms.]]
** One of the predators (with the screen name [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil can_i_rape_you_anally]]) says that on the Internet, you can pretend to be any age you want. This doesn't absolve him from being one of the scariest predators on the show.
* SpoiledByTheFormat: If you see a prime suspect to a murder being interviewed by one of the ''Dateline'' correspondents (especially if they're dressed in casual clothes, and speaking from the comfort of their own home), then you don't get any points for predicting that they won't be convicted.
* {{Squick}}: Putting aside the obvious squickiness that comes with the {{paedo hunt}}, there was once a man (Marvin Lakhan) who planned for a girl to perform a sex act ''[[BestialityIsDepraved on a cat.]]''
** Joe Wunderler's entire chatlog. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml0MQhDXZIQ&t=2s It starts with wanting to have sex with her while she pees,]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m48vhh5ZQi8 then onto wanting the decoy to have sex with a dog]], and then it somehow finds a way to get worse from there.
* UnintentionallySympathetic: This is constantly discussed in ''Dateline'', as you will see the predators in a sympathetic light. They may be very genuine. However, Chris Hansen, or the narrator, will remind themselves AND the audience that these are the same men who were soliciting sex from a minor who clearly had perverted intentions in mind (and that is at best; some had ''much worse'' intentions).
** The saddest part is that there are some genuinely nice guys who talk to them, which would normally earn our sympathy. Until we are reminded, or we learn from factual evidence as to how intent they are as a predator, shattering any sympathy for them (most of the time).
** On the other hand, the questionable ethics surrounding entrapment led Creator/CharlieBrooker to claim that it made him feel sorry for the child rapists.
* WhatAnIdiot: The ''To Catch a Predator'' series make it a point to highlight predators who come to the traps despite having seen the specials before. Some are just plain ignorant to the law. For instance:
** Plenty of these predators would attempt to absolve their intents, or explain away incriminating evidence (such as pornographic images) by claiming the (decoy) child was the one who invited them. Unfortunately for them, a child cannot legally give consent.
** A few predators had shown up on these episodes more than once. This includes Michael Seibert in California.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdD7moRwN0M&feature=youtu.be One of the predators]] was caught twice '''''within 24 hours''''', using the same account both times.
** Some attempt to run from the police, such as Michael Patterson in New Jersey, which got him a taser shot and tackled to the ground for his trouble.
** Despite Chris Hansen making it clear he has evidence in front of the predator, they still attempt to lie their way out of the situation, which only harms their case.

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