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YMMV: Doctor Who

WARNING! THERE MAY BE UNMARKED SPOILERS!


YMMVs for the TV series:

  • Abandon Shipping: The announcement of the 12th Doctor as 50-something Peter Capaldi has lead many to jump off the 'Whouffle' ship as an ongoing concern, sticking to shipping Clara with just 11. (Capaldi himself has stated that he was adamant about not having so much as romantic tension between the two, stating that there will be "no flirting")
    • Oddly enough, many are now jumping back on the ship and writing 12/Clara fanfics, which is becoming quite popular and already has a name, "Whouffaldi."
  • Accidental Aesop: "The Power of the Daleks": Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it—unless the Doctor arrives in time.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • From one of the Fifth Doctor serials, we have this spit-take inducing line:
      The Doctor: Nyssa's skirt... There's blood on it!
    • Fifth Doctor serials seem to have a knack for this. "The Visitation" gives us this exchange...
      Tegan: Hurry up!
      Adric:note  It's stiff.
      Tegan: You were boasting your strength a minute ago. Get on with it!
    • The sonic vibrator Nyssa builds in the same serial may also deserve mention. Made worse by Adric's line, "I don't see why you wanted to work in here (her bedroom)."
    • Yes, Jamie, it's a big one.
    • Three words: Tissue Compression Eliminator. So phallic the cast and crew were falling over laughing.
    • The jury is out on whether the Doctor's dodgy time disturbance detection device in The Time Monster was deliberately phallic or not. But... he built it to detect The Master. That probably tells us everything we need to know.
    • The fact that the title "companion" carries some pretty... adult... connotations. Lampshaded immediately when the Ninth Doctor first used the term to refer to Rose. The policeman questioning him immediately asked if it was sexual.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Adric.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Has its own page.
  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: Has its own page. Special mention toward the most unexpected of them all- the return of Paul McGann as Eighth Doctor which had eluded the screen for 17 blasted years.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Some of the companions have heavy overtones of this, especially Vicki (who lost her whole family and then spent years marooned on a planet being terrorised by a villain) and Nyssa (who had both her parents murdered by the Master, had the Master start walking around in her father's body, and then had her entire home star system destroyed).
    • Eleven in general in comparison to both Nine and Ten. It's shown in series 6 he still has guilt for what he did to Rose, Martha and Donna, as well as the loss of the Time Lords, however.
      • By Series 7, he's gotten considerably more morose. He left a bomb in a Villain of the Week's ship and nearly shot another. This was before he lost Amy and Rory. The second half starts with him trying to stay out of all world-threatening events. He snaps out of it when he realizes there's a new mystery to solve in the universe, and even then he shows signs of trauma and such.
      • Turns out he's some bizarre combination of willfully trying to forget the past and outright pretending it doesn't bother him.
  • Anvilicious:
    • Yeah, painting the TARDIS pink in The Happiness Patrol was probably a bit on-the-nose...
    • Looking back, the 1988-1989 series in general can be a bit too unsubtle about how 'right-on' politically they are. In 2010, the producers admitted that they'd been directly opposed to Margaret Thatcher and had been working to do their bit to help bring her down — which led to a certain amount of derision, partly because the viewing audience at this time wasn't exactly a massively influential voting block (comprised primarily of kids and hardcore fans), but mostly because thanks to this trope, this was hardly a secret.
    • In The Beast Below, there is a the "Doctor = Space Whale" parallel.
    • To a lesser extent, if you started a drinking game about how many times Rory being a nurse got brought up, you'd be drunk very quickly.
    • Yes Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat, we are understanding of your advocacy and defense of homosexuality, but do we have to have more than half a dozen jokes, serious discussions and several dozen minor characters to tell us? Almost every single episode? Beating the dead horse much?
  • Ass Pull: So many episodes end with the villains being foiled by some brand-new, never-before-seen trick of time, space, the TARDIS, or the Doctor's sonic screwdriver that it's difficult to keep count.
    • The Doctor managing to disrupt the Daleks' power supply in "The Power of the Daleks".
    • The software patch that makes the bad nanites be good nanites at the end of "The Empty Child."
    • Then there's Captain Jack Harkness' performance in Bad Wolf. While completely naked he reaches behind himself and produces a small laser gun. This is immediately lampshaded when he is asked where he got it from. While the act in itself is an Ass Shove, it also qualifies as Ass Pull as there was no indication that he had it prior to using it. It was a scene played for laughs though.
    • It may sound incredible, but the now core concept of regeneration was itself an Ass Pull. William Hartnell was getting too ill to play The Doctor, but they didn't want to end the show - so Hartnell himself came up with the idea that Time Lords could regenerate into a new body.
    • Undoing Peri's death off-screen. Actress Nicola Bryant didn't even know about this until years later, to boot!
    • Journeys End features some of the biggest Ass Pulls in the history of the show. Suddenly the Doctor is able to send enough regeneration energy into a severed hand to conveniently grow a half-human Doctor when a human touches it. And when the human touching it is electrocuted she suddenly gets Time Lord intelligence, just in time to stop the Daleks destroying the Universe.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Quite a few examples over the years:
    • At the end of "The Daleks" the Daleks are all killed off, which caused the writers a problem when they became an instant huge success. "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" has the Doctor speculate that he's gone back to a time before they all died. Later stories simply ignore it, with some Expanded Universe stories and much commentary on the show taking advantage of the "Daleks" Daleks' weaker powers and different personality to suggest that they were simply a splinter faction of the main Dalek civilisation, or surviving descendants of early experiments by Davros.
    • The revelation in the TV Movie that the Doctor is a Half-Human Hybrid was hated by many fans who saw it as parochial and an imitation of Star Trek. After some Armed with Canon disputes in the 1996-2005 expanded universe material as to whether it was real or not, it was finally rejected in "The Stolen Earth"/"Journeys' End", where it's a major plot point that no human-Time Lord hybrid has ever existed.
    • Some fans considered that the Happiness in Slavery depiction of the Ood in "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit" and the Doctor's unthinking acceptance of it was a gross breach of the show's and the character's usual moral principles. Two years later, the story "Planet of the Ood" revealed that the Ood were only happy because evil humans were lobotomising them, and the Doctor explicitly expressed guilt for being too preoccupied with the earlier story's major threat and not investigating.
    • The "New Paradigm" Dalek redesign introduced in "Victory of the Daleks" was loathed by fans and critics in a way that was much more universal and long-lasting than the normal They Changed It, Now It Sucks. Later Dalek stories would return to the "Dalek" design most of the time, with "Asylum of the Daleks" having a few New Paradigm Daleks in the back row of crowd scenes.
    • After the violent 6th Doctor era the series tried this by becoming more light hearted. Audiences continued to drop, with the Doctor coming across as a goofy clown. So the stories became darker and the Doctor became more mysterious. Though the series was cancelled after another two seasons the 7th Doctor's era became a Cult Classic.
  • Awesome Ego: The Doctor; the Master is an evil version.
  • Awesome Music: Has its own page.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Depending on the fan or story, Davros is either an Ensemble Dark Horse or The Scrappy. "Genesis Of The Daleks" is widely considered one of the greatest Doctor Who stories of all time, but his inevitable overexposure from being brought back in every Dalek story of the classic series since made a lot of fans wish he'd go away and let the Daleks take centre stage again.
    • River Song. It only got worse during series six, to say nothing of the finale, which appears to have set the internet aflame.
    • Jenny (AKA the Doctor's Daughter). Good lord, Jenny. She's either completely hated, or she absolutely has to return for another episode.
    • Amy Pond. There are actually people who have stopped watching the show altogether because of her, as they feel she's turned it into "Amy Pond and Her Boys". Her mistreatment of Rory and coming on to (including forcing herself on/kissing)/flirting with the Doctor is a turn-off for some people.
    • Although she's generally well liked in her first series, Rose Tyler quickly evolved into a love-or-hate character in her second series and subsequent appearances, a lot of which had to do with her romantic arc with the Doctor. Her being brought back and undermining what many considered one of the best companion departures just caused more conflict. She is definitely one of the most divisible characters in the series.
    • Donna Noble. Many think she's a Most Triumphant Example of Rescued from the Scrappy Heap, while others think that she's still annoying and lament the amount of Character Focus she got in her season.
    • Martha. Some people consider her a bright, courageous companion who was underappreciated by the Doctor because he was moping over Mary Sue Rose Tyler, was mature enough to leave on her own, and kept up the work of defending the Earth. Other people think she was a clingy Replacement Goldfish who couldn't respect that the Doctor was getting over his alleged great love for Rose Tyler. Still others dislike her and Rose and were annoyed at another romantic subplot.
    • Clara. Some people see her as a plot hook masquerading as a character while others see her as a plucky, resourceful companion who saves the Doctor without falling into the endless soap-opera drama of the Ponds.
    • Pick a companion. Any companion. Seriously.
    • Pretty much every Doctor is this to someone, but the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors in particular tend to be this for the classic series. For the new series, both the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors get a lot of this.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice:
  • Bizarro Episode: "The Feast of Steven", the Christmas Episode in the middle of the grim 12-parter "The Daleks' Master Plan".
  • Broken Base:
    • For every fan that likes something in this show, there is a fan that hates it, and vice versa. Just look at the Who entries under Awesome, Narm, Tear Jerker, etc. The overlap is something like 90%.
    • The fandom are highly contested over Steven Moffat's time as showrunner. His fans praise him for having more complex and involved story arcs (as opposed to Russell T's Arc Words), more original monsters instead of just reusing classic villains, and using time travel and alien worlds more often. His detractors claim that his plots are confusing and needlessly obsessed with being "clever" to the point of including plot holes and silly explanations, his companions lack the emotional depth of characters like Martha or Donna, and that (especially in seasons 6 and 7) he's mistreated the companions and used them as puzzles instead of people. Also, how well he writes his female characters is a huge point of heated debate, especially on Tumblr. His use of sitcom and soap opera-esque elements is also a subject of debate - not usually about the quality, but about whether or not it fits into the program. It got to the point where one editor of The Atlantic spent the entirety of his articles at the magazine bashing Moffat.
    • "Love & Monsters". Some fans like the script and the characters, but others dislike the monster and the sex joke at the end.
    • Some fans see the two parter "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End" as an epic work of Russell T Davies, tying his work together, while others see it as a self-indulgent mess more like a shipping fic. Rose haters hated Rose somehow getting the Doctor and say she was unnecessary and just there to be a Mary Sue, while many people who liked Rose felt it was a poor follow-up which negated what many thought of as one of the best companion departures.
    • Pick a Doctor, any Doctor. There will be people who love him and people who think he ruined the show forever. Yes, even THAT Doctor.
    • The scene in Journey's End where the TARDIS tows Earth back home. It is mentioned both on the Crowning Moment Of Awesome AND Dethroning Moment of Suck page.
    • The Tenth Doctor's regeneration. Half the fandom regard it as a Tear Jerker, while the other believes it to be Wangst.
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Some fans pair Doctor and sonic screwdriver.
    • The show itself pairs the Doctor and the TARDIS.
  • Complete Monster: Now has its own page.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Enemies who are immobile when you look at them directly. Are we talking about Weeping Angels, or Boos?
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Pretty much every Doctor.
    • Vincent van Gogh. He's the only person who can see the Monster of the Week. So he stabs it with his easel. It works.
    • Some of River's stunts are this. Highlights include jumping out of an airlock, confident that the Doctor would show up to save her and defacing the oldest mountain in the universe to leave a message for him. Oh, and fighting Nazis with regeneration.
    • John Simm's Master.
  • Creator's Pet: Adric.
  • Creepy Awesome: In general, if a villain or monster is popular, at least part of it comes from the fans being terrified of it.
  • Critical Backlash: There comes a point at which the sheer amount of hatred that gets directed at the Sixth Doctor makes it difficult not to root for him as a Good Is Not Nice Anti-Hero.
  • Critical Research Failure: In The Sound of Drums, American President Arthur Winters introduces himself as "President-Elect Arthur Coleman Winters." In America, the President-Elect is someone who's been elected President in the November elections but hasn't been sworn in yet at the January Inaugural. Thus, he wouldn't be the President yet, and wouldn't have the political power to do what Winters does here. Except for that one line, everything else in the script indicates Winters is supposed to be the current American President. If he was, there's no good reason (not even a stupid reason) why he'd call himself, "President-Elect"?
  • Crossover Ship:
  • Cult Classic: The Seventh Doctor's tenure, which had the lowest ratings from the series' history but a very loyal fanbase.
  • Damsel Scrappy:
    • Tegan—though, as a woman of normal intelligence stuck on the TARDIS with three alien super-geniuses (The Doctor, Nyssa, and Adric/Turlough), she was Damsel Scrappy By Default. You want a real Damsel Scrappy in Doctor Who, try Vicki, Victoria Waterfield or Peri Brown.
    • Mel was the only companion during her tenure, and thus had the duty of getting captured. This would be fine if she were useful or likable. And then she was followed by Ace. Who killed Daleks with homemade explosives (stored in deodorant cans) and a super-charged baseball bat.
  • Die for Our Ship: The Russell T Davies era upped the (previously unspoken) romantic side of traveling through space and time with a heroic, dashing genius, with each companion dealing with it in their own way. Of course, everyone has their favorites.
  • Dork Age: Obviously the 16 years when the show was off the air (including, to some, the TV movie during that gap), though many fans tend to agree that "The Trial of a Time Lord" and then Sylvester McCoy's first season are the low point of when the show actually was airing.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: The Master has benefited from a lot of this, particularly thanks to John Simm's depiction and the increased Foe Yay it's given him with the Doctor. It can be a bit too easy for fans so inclined to handwave his lengthy list of evil deeds and the body count they have resulted in just because he acts a bit quirky and flirty to the Doctor or because of the Freudian Excuse the drums in his head (introduced in the 2007 episode "Utopia" as a symbol of his insanity) gives him.
  • Dry Docking: The fandom has "Stay away from the Doctor!"
  • Dude, Not Funny!: After a while, John Simm's Master's jokes stop being funny and start being more along the lines of horrifying. Given who it is, this was likely intentional.
  • Ear Worm:
    • The Master's drumbeat.
    • The theme tune.
    • The sontaran's Battle Cry. Sontar HA! Sontar HA! Sontar HA!
  • Ending Fatigue: The 15-minute farewell scenes in The End of Time.
  • Engaging Chevrons: The rocket launch in "The Seeds of Death", with a full one-minute countdown.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Many given the show's long run.
    • Both the Daleks and Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Both originally intended as one-off characters in the 1960s. Guess what? They've both appeared on television since Doctor Who's revival (the latter on the Spin-Off The Sarah Jane Adventures in 2008, fifteen years after his last televised appearance).
    • Despite Sharaz Jek only appearing in The Caves of Androzani and dying in the final episode, he's arguably one of the most popular side characters in the show's history.
    • Bill Filer and Pigbin Josh have received their own little fan-gatherings.
    • The Zygons only appeared once during the Classic Series but are one of the most popular monsters, David Tennant having cited them as his favorite monster. They were the main monsters in the 50th anniversary special.
    • The Celestial Toymaker. His only apperance was in one story in the Classic Series, of which three of its episodes are now lost, but he's still one of the most iconic villains in the franchise.
    • Within just one episode, the Weeping Angels were heavily regarded as the show's most terrifying villains. Even more so than the Daleks, just from the sheer paranoia factor. Time of the Angels/Flesh and Stone only increased their popularity (except among certain fans who screamed "ruined" at some of the changes).
      • Yet another creation from Blink is also widely beloved: Sally Sparrow.
    • Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead's Monster of the Week, the Vashta Narada, have turned out to be one of the most popular in the entire new run, arguably only being bested by the Weeping Angels. A loyal section of the fanbase has been clamoring for their return.
    • Eleven's Fez.
    • Wilfred Mott. He attacked a Dalek with a paint gun. He was so popular that he was brought back as the Doctor's companion for The End of Time.
    • Captain Jack Harkness was popular enough to get his own show after just five episodes.
    • Madame Vastra, the Lesbian Victorian Silurian Detective and her partner-slash-servant are incredibly popular, with the fandom begging for a spin-off.
    • Canton Delaware III. Partly due to the fact that it's very hard to forget an ex-FBI agent from 1969 who wants to marry a black man. The fact he's a competent and intelligent American (See Acceptable Targets above) may help.
    • Craig Owens, the Doctor's roommate in The Lodger, who gained a lot of popularity based on the excellent chemistry between James Corden and Matt Smith. People were happy when it was announced that the Doctor would go back and visit him.
    • Despite him only wearing them in one two-part episode, the Tenth Doctor's 3D Glasses are a well-loved fan favorite. He is often depicted wearing them in fan art.
    • Brian Williams, Rory's Bumbling Dad.
    • Strax, the disgraced Sontaran Warrior forced to become a nurse, and later Vastra and Jenny's butler in Victorian London. Despite his new station he has lost none of his Proud Warrior Race Guy tendencies and casually informs people he's healing, that he hopes to destroy them for the Empire one day. He's also been genetically altered to produce breast-milk for infants. Pretty much any scene with him is an automatic Crowning Moment of Funny.
      • The BBC clearly likes him too—he's been giving "field reports" on Youtube about how weird Earth is.
    • Jethro Cane. "We've broken down! In the middle of nowhere!" Possibly because he's Merlin.
    • The Adipose babies from "Partners in Crime". Tumblr fans post pictures of themselves with the cute little walking fat!
    • The Eighth Doctor, despite only having 2 on-screen adventures, is very well liked due to Paul McGann's performance.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Series 5 has, thus far, generated reams of fan theories, ranging from very clever, probably right ones, to the fact that the barely legible text of the library card in "The Vampires of Venice" has a slightly wrong post code on it.
    • Series Six has followed in suit, and the Spoilers Wild Mass Guessing page had to be broken down into folders sorting the different type of speculation- e.g. The Silence, Rory's Death, who is River, etc.
    • And of course, Season 7 has the mystery of who Clara is and why she keeps coming back from the dead in various time periods. Steven Moffat really likes instigating these.
    • Series 8 hasn't even come out and it already has a page.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: "The Happiness Patrol" is the most (over)analyzed story in the history of Doctor Who. Is it a biting criticism of Thatcher? Is it about homophobia? Is it a satire of runaway commercialism smothering society? Is it just plain crap? Or all of the above? Just about the only thing anyone can agree with is that it features a candy robot that kills people.
  • Escapist Character: The Doctor and his companions.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: The council worker in "Fear Her".
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
    • "The Eleventh Hour". Hey, kids! It's fun to let strange men into your house in the middle of the night when your aunt's away! If your psychiatrist tells you you invented an imaginary friend, bite them! When adults say everything's going to be all right, they're lying!
    • "Amy's Choice". Remember, girls! If the boy you love dies, life just won't be worth living anymore, so go ahead and kill youself, and screw his and your unborn baby you're carrying!
    • "Love and Monsters". Most of your friends are dead, and your girlfriend is immobilized and completely dependent on you for literally everything? No problem, as long as she can still give you blowjobs!
    • Rose Tyler and River Song both make comments about how their love for the Doctor is so deep that losing him would be worse than destroying the universe (or in Rose's case two), which some critics say sends a message that if you love someone, they should be the centre of your world and you should be completely selfish in pursuing them.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: It's the Doctor, not Doctor Who!
    • Also, say that the 50th Anniversary Special was a disappointment/terrible/horrible/overhyped, etc, and the fandom will feed you to the Weeping Angels. Or throw you to the Daleks/Cybermen.
  • Fan Dumb:
    • Some of David Tennant's fans can be a bit... put off if you say he's not your favourite Doctor. Then there's the Vocal Minority demanding that Eleven have a "reverse regeneration" back into Ten.
    • With the announcement of Peter Capaldi as 12, the ageist idiots came out of the woodwork, screeching that he was "too ugly" and "too old", and that they were no longer going to be watching the show now that the Doctor wasn't a 20-something hot young stud. There was one particular fanfic about Clara killing the 12th Doctor and then forcing him to regenerate until eventually he resumed Eleven's form.
      • This facebook post particularly shows a lot of reaction.
    • Some of the more fanatical followers of the Russell T Davies era are/were pretty vocally nasty to Steven Moffat and his fans, to the point where Moffat described Tumblr as essentially a website where people talk about all the ways that he's the Devil incarnate. A few of these extreme anti-Moffaters actually asked the BBC to fire Moffat and hire RTD back as showrunner, despite the fact that Davies has repeatedly refused to come back to guest-write an episode and Moffat still consults him on a fair number of showrunning decisions.
    • Let's just say, given their tendency to mention how almost everything is a Time Lord, they've caused some Hype Aversion on the wiki.
  • Fanfic Fuel: "The Big Bang":
    • Rory spent 1894 years staying out of trouble note  and going from Britain to Rome to Germany/France to Italy in 1240 and then back to Britain by 1941. And whatever he went through, he learned that you shoot Daleks in the eyestalk.
    • At the end there is the whole Egyptian Goddess and Orient Express IN SPACE!; even if it never ended up being addressed in the series you can almost hear the sound of a million keyboards screaming and suddenly being silenced.
    • The talk of "Star Cults" who believe in the onetime existence of stars (and who are right, as the disappearance of said stars signals that the universe is wrong) and their head prophet Richard Dawkins. Who's willing to bet that said cults are made up of many of the Doctor's previous companions? Just think of the possibilities...
    • From "The Name of the Doctor": what all of the Clara-fragments were doing and how they saved the Doctor.
    • The Doctor spending hundreds of years on Trenzalore fighting of various Monsters.
  • Fanon: Pretty much every question that's gone unanswered has fan theories, some more widely accepted than others.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Eric Roberts' Master always dresses for the occasion.
  • Faux Symbolism: "Kinda" and "Snakedance" writer Christopher Bailey derived the Mara from a demon of the same name in Buddhist philosophy which, as in Doctor Who, symbolises temptation rather than evil (at least, in the sense of "sinfulness"). In Kinda, Dukkha, Panna, Karuna, Anatta and Anicca's names and functions all derive from Buddhism as well.
  • Foe Yay: Has its own page.
  • Fountain of Memes:
  • Freud Was Right:
    • You know that Master-detector-things the Doctor builds? It really looks like a penis.
    • And TOMTIT? Come on!
    • Erato, the "Creature from the Pit", looks like... um... It would probably have been better if the Doctor hadn't tried blowing into the protruding bit.
    • Many people, on seeing a Vervoid for the first time, have remarked that it reminds them of something... WH Smith refused to stock a copy of Doctor Who Magazine with a Vervoid on the cover as they felt it contained an "inappropriate adult image".
    • In "The Vampires of Venice".
      Rory: Yours is bigger than mine.
      The Doctor: Let's not go there.
    • And then there's Eleven and Ten showing off their sonic screwdrivers in Day of the Doctor.
    • Bigger on the Inside
  • Fridge Brilliance: It and Fridge Horror have their own page.
  • Fridge Logic: Has its own page.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • The Blake's 7 fandom tends to have a lot of overlap with classic series fandom, due to the similarities in style and close links between the production teams; the former is generally considered the adult sister show to the latter.
    • Similarly, a lot of fans of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss' Sherlock tend also to be fans of Moffat and Russell T Davies' eras as head writer as well (Gatiss and Moffat having contributed episodes to both eras).
      • SuperWholockians. The above friendly fandoms with Supernatural thrown in for some reason. Very common amongst the fandom side of Tumblr.
    • Fans of Douglas Adams and Neil Gaiman also tend to overlap with the show. As both authors also wrote for Doctor Who (and in the case of the former served as a script editor), this is also understandable.
    • The Affectionate Parody spoof Inspector Spacetime on Community was very well received by Doctor Who fans. Both Matt Smith and Karen Gillan have expressed appreciation of the other show and an interest in appearing on it.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment
    • At the end of "Shada", the Fourth Doctor muses about how future generations of Time Lords might remember him as a criminal.
    • "A Fix with Sontarans" was a wacky wish-fulfillment skit for a fan, with Jim'll Fix It presenter Jimmy Savile presented as Faux Horrific via the Sixth Doctor and Tegan's reactions. After his death in 2011, it came to public light that Savile was perhaps the most Depraved Kids' Show Host of all time.
  • Funny Moments: Have their own page.
  • Genius Bonus: Professor Bracewell is a sort of Bracewell Probe.
  • Gotta Ship Em All: Doctor is shipped with almost every single one of his companions (most of whom were strictly platonic friends) over the course of the show's 50 year existence. Other companions from different eras are shipped together regardless if they've ever actually met. One-Shot Characters are all shipped with random companions, the Doctor, and other one shot characters. The Doctor's daughter/Opposite-Sex Clone Jenny deserves a special mention for being a Launcher of a Thousand Ships despite appearing exactly once and having previously met none of the people she's most commonly shipped with.
  • Growing the Beard: Being that the series has a few decades of history, it's a bit inevitable that there have been a lot of times when the show's quality gets lower a few times and then back up later.
    • The First Doctor's second serial, The Daleks, is seen as where the show really took off, after a mostly dull first serial involving cavemen.
    • The Second Doctor's arrival made the Doctor younger, paving the way for more action-orientated episodes, and properly established him as an eccentric but sympathetic character.
    • The Third Doctor's tenure saw arrival of colour TV, more political and Earth-based stories and the growth of a maturer fanbase.
    • But it was the Fourth Doctor's era that the classic series reached its creative peak. Now how many shows achieve this after being on the air for over ten years?
    • The Seventh Doctor in season 25, particularly Remembrance of the Daleks, is seen as marking the point when the 1980s Doctor Who began to show a maturer and more confident approach. Unfortunately, the show's ratings did not improve and this led to its cancellation after the following season.
    • The revival in general has, regardless of opinions, given much more publicity and relevance to and awards won by the show than when it faded through the 1980s, leading to its eventual cancellation in 1989. The BBC has also cared a lot more about its status as a flagship British drama and a fifty-plus-year cultural icon when comparing the Steven Moffat era side by side with the days of Michael Grade's near-cancellation of the show in 1985.
    • Some people would claim "Dalek" was this for the revived series and the Ninth Doctor.
    • For the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant's performance in his first series (series 2) was actually very well-received, but fans were less impressed by several storylines, the romance between the Doctor and Rose and the Torchwood story arc (although all three have their defenders). Depending on who you ask, the concluding episodes of series 2 or series 3 saw a significant overall improvement.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • At the end of "The Time Monster", when the Third Doctor states that eternal torment was something he'd never subject anything to. About that...
    • In "The Mind of Evil", it's shown that the Doctor's worst fear is worlds burning down. See Doctor, there's this certain time war that you'll stop...
    • The Fourth Doctor's parting "Until we meet again, Sarah" was always going to be heartbreaking after the death of Elisabeth Sladen. But it's magnified by the fact that she spent more a decade trying to convince Tom Baker to do a series of Big Finish audios with her. He finally caved and signed a contract a week before she died. So, in essence, Four and Sarah Jane never did meet again.
    • At the end of "Flesh and Stone", River says "You, me, handcuffs... must it always end this way?" Then you remember that's exactly how she died.
    • Davros using human corpses to make food out of in "Revelation of the Daleks" was pretty grim to start with. But the Big Finish I, Davros audio dramas make it clear that the same was standard practice in Kaled society while he was growing up, due to the effects of the Hopeless War.
    • "The War Games" has the Second Doctor simply having his appearance changed before his exile by the Time Lords. Today, with the Time Lords' 12 regenerations limit well-established, it now is more like the Doctor was essentially executed by forcing him to use one of his regenerations.
    • In "The Web of Fear", the Great Intelligence seems to view "revenge" as petty and beneath it, and is only interested in the Doctor again because of his usefulness. Come "The Name of the Doctor", revenge seems to be its primary motivation.
    • For the Doctor, at least: the description of the end of the alternate 21st Century given by the Controller in "Day of the Daleks" matches nearly perfectly with the fate of Gallifrey in the 2005 series.
    • The little girl is released from the Daleks' mind control in "Remembrance of the Daleks"! But a later short story shows that she was driven irreversibly mad by the experience.
    • The little girl in "Day of the Moon" being forgotten about only to find herself sick and dying in New York could be bad enough, until you realise this is a young River Song and the baby Amy was pregnant with. It also leads into the attempted murder of the Doctor.
    • The scene of Rory sadly playing with the dream!cot in "Amy's Choice" is made even more heartbreaking by what happens in series 6.
    • After witnessing the Doctor's judgment upon the Racnoss, Donna tells him that he "needs someone to stop him". Much later, we see him breaking under the strain of hearing the explorers on Mars dying... and he's all alone. And not even Captain Brook can get through to him.
    • "I never should have met you, Doctor. I was better off when I was a coward." Considering everything that happens to him later, Jack was right.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Have their own page.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In their first story, the Daleks don't know what the TARDIS is, and when the Doctor mentions it, assume he's delirious. For future Daleks, the word TARDIS, especially one shaped like a blue box, is Nightmare Fuel. Further into the future in "Asylum of the Daleks", all records of the Doctor have been removed from their database, making them forget about the Doctor and the TARDIS.
    • In the Second Doctor episode The Mind Robber, Zoe says the word Fantastic. This is made funny by it being the ninth doctor's catchphrase.
    • The Doctor criticizes the Monk for interfering, which is what the Time Lords put him on trial for. The Doctor seems to have had affected history in a way similar to the Monk. Then there is the Time Lord Victorious.
    • Scarlioni, played by Julian Glover, disposes of Kerensky by rapidly aging him into a skeleton. Flash forward ten years...
      • One relevant only within Doctor Who: This scene from "City of Death" has a crack!
      • A copy of the Mona Lisa made at the same time and in the same workshop? Only one so far, but it's a start.
    • In "Warriors' Gate", the shot of the freed Tharils walking through the gate in single file towards the end of the story cannot be taken seriously by anyone who's ever played Lemmings.
    • In episode 1 of "Silver Nemesis", the Doctor is briefly seen wearing a fez and holding a mop... and not for the last time...
    • In "Battlefield", Ace shouts a very familiar word as she jumps through the portal after the Doctor.
    • For one moment, the Eighth Doctor looks at a mask of Nixon intently... and then meets him in person in the Eleventh Doctor story, "The Impossible Astronaut".
    • In "World War Three", Jackie banters about how the Doctor and Rose should be knighted and wonders whether or not the Doctor even eats normal food.
    • In "Day of the Moon", Richard Nixon asks the Doctor if he'll be remembered in the future. The Doctor, wishing to remain coy on the details, simply replies that "they'll never forget about [Nixon]" and "say hello to David Frost for me". Two episodes later, the Doctor has an encounter with a being voiced by Michael Sheen, who played David Frost in Frost/Nixon.
    • In a Black Comedy sense, Rory tells Alaya in "Cold Blood" that he trusts the Doctor with his life. That proved not to be a great idea.
    • In "The Eleventh Hour", Rory says, "We were kids! You made me dress up as him!" In "The Girl Who Waited", Future Amy hits on Rory and says "How many times did we play Doctor and Nurse?", suggesting they weren't just kids...
    • Back when Primeval started, some criticisms against the series accused it of stealing Doctor Who's formula. In "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship", the dinosaurs are animated by the team behind Primeval, with the Raptors being lifted straight of of the show.
      • The weapons used to bring down the raptors also resembled the electro-muscular disruption guns introduced in the fourth series of the show.
    • In the episode "Doomsday" we have this dialogue with Cybermen and a Dalek.
      Cyberman: Your design is inelegant.
      Dalek Thay: Daleks have no concept of elegance.
      Cyberman: This is obvious.
    • This exchange in Doctor Who: Dreamland, in light of David Tennant's voice role in Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
      The Doctor: There's always a ventilation shaft!
      Cassie: Doctor, are you sure there's a way out of here?
      The Doctor: Of course there's a way out, there always is! Apart from in Star Wars, of course.
    • "Silence in the Library", which introduces the Vashta Nerada, has the character Dr. Moon, played by an actor who appeared in Resident Evil as someone named Shade.
    • In "The Impossible Astronaut", River makes the infamous quip about how she's "quite the screamer." Fast forward a couple of years, and Alex Kingston will now appear on Arrow as Dinah Drake Lance. Meaning she might be one of the most famous screamers in comic books, Black Canary.
    • "The Bells of Saint John": Kizlet says that no-one loves the cow more than Burger King. Burger King was one of several groups in late 2012 and early 2013 affected by the a scandal that revealed a major food supplier's "beef" contained horsemeat. This news broke during the episode's production, presumably too late to alter.
    • "The Name of the Doctor" is the 121st episode to feature an X of Y episode name. What's the square root of 121? Eleven.
    • A meta-example: in 2013, it was announced that Peter Capaldi had been cast as the Twelfth Doctor. Earlier in the year, Capaldi had had a small role in the film adaptation of World War Z. His character was credited as... a WHO Doctor.
      • Before Peter Capaldi was announced for the role, Burn Gorman was among the list of rumoured candidates, but was quickly shot down for being a principle cast member of Torchwood. Peter Capaldi, meanwhile, portrayed an important recurring character during the Torchwood: Children of Earth mini-series.
    • For fans of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Clara's declaration in "The Snowmen" that the TARDIS is smaller on the outside was probably made 20% funnier by the fact that Derpy said it first.
    • In 2013, a new Van Gogh painting entitled "Sunset at Montmajour" was discovered. In the background, there's something that looks a lot like the TARDIS.
    • Andrew Garfield appears in "Daleks in Manhattan" as a homeless boy - he would later portray the best known example of Perpetual Poverty in comic books, Spider-Man. Even better - Spider-Man is also known for his problems with the police - here, the boy is last seen being taken away by pigs.
    • Before Peter Capaldi was cast, IGN ran a list of actors they would like to portray the next regeneration of the Doctor, even running a poll so fans could pick their personal favorite candidate out of the list. One of them was David Tennant (who also happened to win the poll), with IGN reasoning that in time the Doctor may need to revisit past forms he's regenerated into and been used to in the past. Based off the appearance of Tom Baker in Day of the Doctor and how he'll be able to reuse some "personal favorite" faces, apparently sometime long into his future he does just that.
    • This compilation of Peter Capaldi's time on The Thick of It. The words "time travel" and "kidneys" pop up.
    • The serial "The Gunfighters" has Steven and Dodo dressing up in flamboyant cowboy and cowgirl outfits. The First Doctor's response is made funnier given his future incarnations' fashion senses:
      Doctor: Why can't you wear inconspicuous clothing, like I do?
    • The first thing the Tenth Doctor says after waking up in "The Christmas Invasion" is "Did you miss me?". For bonus points, here's David Tennant lip-syncing to "Stayin' Alive".
    • In the booklet accompanying the Complete Specials set that concluded David Tennant's run, it begins with a foreword by Tennant where he writes about going back to meet his eight-year-old self and telling him of how an amazing ride it'll be when he plays the Doctor. Eight-year-old Tennant is a little disappointed that the Zygons won't be among the rogues gallery he faces. Flash forward four years later, where Tennant returned for Day of the Doctor. Guess who happens to be one of the key antagonists of it?
    • In "Smith and Jones", the Doctor, trying to hide his Time Lord biology from the Monster of the Week by acting a panicking human, claims to have worked as a postman and uses the phrase, "You're joshing me". David Tennant would go on to play the Big Bad Wannabe in Postman Pat: The Movie, with a protégé named Josh.
  • Holy Shit Quotient:
    • The series does outdo itself constantly in this area due to thrills and scares, but very few can compare to the sudden reemergence of the TIME LORDS in the final scene of The End of Time Part One, and their Title Drop of just what they plan to do.
    • Specifically, when the viewer gets out ahead of the plot on that one and realizes what's coming just soon enough to scream 'HOLY SHIT' about twenty times before the event actually happens.
    • "The Name of the Doctor". Full Stop!
    • The Daleks returning at the climax of "Army of Ghosts"? That was a big secret held by the production team at the time. These days, the following episode "Doomsday" is generally known for being Daleks v Cybermen.
    • The Doctor on the point of near-death dies ten times, and has his appearance forcibly changed at the end of the Patrick Troughton era.
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page.
  • Hype Backlash: Fandom example. Rose was a fine character on her own, but when Martha was frequently compared to her by both the show and the fanbase, even some of the people who liked her have come to see her as The Scrappy.
  • I Am Not Shazam: The main character's name is "The Doctor", not "Doctor Who" (in spite of what the credits might sometimes say).
  • Idiot Plot:
    • "The Sontaran Experiment". Really now, so much of this would have been averted if there was less time falling down crevasses and more time talking.
    • "The Android Invasion". So Crayford never took off that eyepatch?
  • Informed Wrongness: Prime Minister Harriet Jones note  ordering the destruction of a retreating Sycorax warship in "The Christmas Invasion". Yes, killing a retreating enemy isn't exactly honorable, but humanity's elected leaders can't always afford to be honorable when dealing with enemy combatants that would happily massacre civilians. Jones' argument in her defense—that the people of Earth can't always rely on the Doctor to protect them—actually makes a lot of sense, but it's instead used for a straightforward Humans Are the Real Monsters message.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • The reveal that the person cast as the companion for series 7 is appearing to be another white woman had several fans upset, to say the least. It doesn't help that the previous potential companion from the episode "The God Complex" was a woman of color who was killed off.
    • Really, it would be far quicker to list the things about the show that hadn't caused buckets of frothing internet nerdrage at some point or another.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Nyssa. The Master kills her family and takes over her father's body. Then her entire planet is destroyed. Then she starts traveling with the guy who was unable to prevent any of it, and was later unable to prevent one of their other friends from dying. And she still gets up in the morning and gets on with life and is sensible and quietly helps repeatedly save the universe and doesn't talk much about any of it.
    • The Ninth Doctor.
    • Amy.
    • In series 5's "The Big Bang", Rory spends 1894 years alone guarding his in-suspended-animation fiancee in a giant metal box keeping it safe from outside influences, following it wherever it is taken and writing himself into the myths and legends of a dozen civilizations in the process.
      • Then in Series Six he has to deal with all his memories of 2,000 years threatening to overwhealm him, the constant suggestion that Amy prefers the Doctor over him (she doesn't), his wife dissolving into goo, then his child dissolving into goo, and then the revelation that River is his daughter. Poor guy.
    • The Star Whale from The Beast Below. Say what you will, there's something touching about choosing to continue ferrying the humans who tortured you for roughly two hundred years.
    • River.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • The reveal of the Cybermen in part 1 of Earthshock was well-hidden. Today it is widely known; a Cyberman is even featured on the DVD cover.
    • Every male character in The Caves of Androzani (apart from the Sixth Doctor) dies.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Turlough. Especially in his first episode. He gets better.
    • Chang Lee.
    • Thanks to copious amounts of Moral Dissonance right from the get-go, the Tenth Doctor.
    • Amy as well, thanks to her Bitch in Sheep's Clothing moments.
    • That poor Dalek near the end of "The Big Bang".
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • Series 6 hinted very strongly that the Doctor is going to die For Realsies This Time and it in fact begins with a future version of the Eleventh Doctor apparently getting shot to death and cremated (except not really, as revealed in the finale). Since this would bring the entire series to an end, all but a few were pretty convinced he'd get around it somehow — the question lay in what the 'somehow' in question was. The same episode had Rory in trouble. The trailers for the next episode didn't even hide his survival.
    • Every time The Master is killed off. Ditto for the Daleks.
  • Magnificent Bastard: So very many. The Master pretty much takes home the gold, though. Davros gets the silver.
    • The Doctor himself.
  • Mary Sue: There are arguments for any number of companions, not to mention the Doctor. Take a look at the list of traits and you'll find that the Doctor has quite a few. Proof that Tropes Are Not Bad.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Barbara Wright, fairly badass in the TV stories, is often treated by fandom as an unstoppable stone killer in pumps and a turtle-neck.
    • Rory "Chuck Norris" Williams.
    • Stormaggedon, Dark Lord of All; because everyone who isn't "Mum" is either a peasant or "Not Mum" if you're his dad or the Doctor.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Yartek, LEADER OF THE ALIEN VOORD! is a classic one, stemming from a description of the story in tie-in material.
    • Many things associated with John Simm's Master; the four drum beats, his nice choice in music, the gas mask..
    • And everyone in Series 5 is a duck.
    • Eleven has a meme now. Memes are cool.
    • Every second of the Doctor Who cast and crew's 500 Miles music video.
    • EGGGGGGGGGGS!
    • Goddammit Steve!
    • Thanks to Peter Capaldi's role as Malcolm Tucker on The Thick of It, the Twelfth Doctor has been almost universally characterized by the fans (prior to his debut) as incredibly foul-mouthed.
    • Stormageddon, the Dark Lord of All
    • Thanks to Ten's most famous line, the phrase "wibbly-wobbly" has essentially become shorthand for "too complicated to bother explaining".
    • As is "Timey-Wimey" when used to explain complicated Time Travel plots.
    • EVERYONE is a Time Lord.
    • "Capaldi Intensifies!" is often used to describe Peter Capaldi's three-second appearance in "Day of the Doctor".
  • Memetic Sex God: "There are no straight men, just men who haven't met Captain Jack Harkness" is a common line to describe the character, notable for the relatively few number of straight male fans who deny the statement. There's also a popular image macro with a nude screenshot from "Bad Wolf" captioned, "You're straight? So is spaghetti, before it gets hot." Even justified in-universe. His cologne's actually a genetic modification that includes pheromones.
  • Moe:
    • Jo Grant provides an excellent live action example.
    • Amy; the original entry on the Characters page compared the chibi-like fanart for her to Karen Gillan.
    • On the male side of things, Rory, with his adorkableness, Undying Loyalty and almost constantly sad eyes.
  • Moment Of Awesome: Has its own page.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • In Dragonfire, Kane has the tourists, passers-through, and residents herded into a spacecraft and blows it to Kingdom Come.
    • In The Curse of Fenric, Millington locks two men up in a cellar, leaving them to their Haemovorey death.
    • One could argue "Logopolis" for The Master. Yes before he had manipulated, threatened, and killed lots and lots of people, but compared to the number of people The Doctor had manipulated, threatened and killed, they were basically even, and before Delgado died he was even supposed to have a Death Equals Redemption plot. And then, when he gets a proper new body again, he destroys one-quarter of the universe, including the home planet of one the Doctor's companion (though admittedly that was an accident he caused by going on a killing spree). And the new body he got is the corpse of said companion's father. After that, there was really no going back for him.
    • Word of God confirms that in the serial The Time Meddler, the Vikings did, in fact, rape Edith.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The characteristic TARDIS dematerialisation sound created, according to River Song, by the Doctor leaving the brakes on. (He claims it's deliberate). Of course, this raises the question as to why Romana and the Master had it happen to them, but River could have just been messing with the Doctor.
    • Given River's penchant for crazy-dangerous stunts (like blowing herself out an airlock), it's quite possible that the "handbrake" is a safety feature that only River is crazy enough to want to disable.
  • MST3K Mantra: Required if you want to be able to sit back and enjoy the show, given all the cheesiness and timey-wimey business.
  • Narm: Has its own page.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Often, the series manages to be cheesy while still being on the edge of your seat tense. Any non-humanoid Auton in particular.
    • In the Master's first-ever appearance, he tried to take over the world with plastic daffodils.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • The Sixth Doctor trying to strangle Peri, which they themselves don't get over until The Mysterious Planet.
    • Another widespread example is Adric being persuaded to approve of Monarch's evil plan in "Four To Doomsday" in about three minutes of conversation, which led to massive Flanderisation of him as "always siding with the villain".
    • In "Dalek", Van Statten is just arrogant and ignorant... until he decides to keep the Doctor as a specimen, for torturing. And later he dismisses his soldiers as "dispensible" when the Dalek massacres them. After that, there's no excuse.
    • In The End of Time the Time Lords themselves have gone off the deep end as they are willing to destroy the fabric of space and time to escape their own demise.
      • Though The Day of the Doctor seems to imply it was mainly Rassilon, who in the Expanded Universe crossed the Horizon years before.
    • Miss Mercy Hartigan from The Next Doctor may have been a more sympathetic character particurlarly with her implied Rape As Back Story past. However, when she enslaves children, whatever sympathy one may have had for her vanishes. Moreover, when she decides that the children are disposable, you're actively rooting for her defeat.
    • "The Name of the Doctor" reveals that one incarnation of the Doctor (played by John Hurt) did something so monstrous that the other incarnations (including those who have committed multiple genocides and doomed their own species,) have disowned him, stripped him of the name "Doctor" and tried to forget he ever existed. However, "The Day of the Doctor" ends up portraying him more sympathetically as a war-torn Well-Intentioned Extremist who, with the help of the Tenth and Eleventh (and the other ten) Doctors, eventually averts this and ends the episode content with the possibility of having failed in doing the right thing as opposed to the guilt of having succeeded in doing the wrong thing.
    • Classic series fans generally take one or two episodes from the 2005 revival and blow it out of proportion as a reason why 102 episodes from 21 writers as of September 2013 (two of the writers which are head writers with very differing styles) suck.
    • Not to mention the fans who bash David Tennant and/or Matt Smith solely because of the now-infamous line "I don't want to go."
    • Thanks to Peter Capaldi's prior work and his best known Verbal Tic, the fans are having a ball of a time depicting the Twelfth Doctor as the pottymouthed one.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page. And oh, does it ever deserve it.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The cheaper costumes of the classic era. Sometimes pops up every now and then afterwards, though more with the CGI than the prosthetics costumes.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Tom Baker and Lalla Ward's punting scene in Sha- err, "The Five Doctors".
    • The Raston Warrior Robot slaughters a group of Cybermen and simply leaps into thin air, never to be seen again in the episode.
    • The disassembled, lone Cyberman's fight against the Doctor and Amy in "The Pandorica Opens".
    • A number of the Doctor's allies in "A Good Man Goes to War", including the Judoon, the Space Spitfires and the pirate captain and his son.
    • Derek Jacobi's five minutes as the Master in "Utopia".
    • Peter Capaldi's three-second appearance as the Twelfth Doctor in "Day of the Doctor".
  • Padding: Often suffered by the classic series, especially in the earlier years when stories would sometimes run for six or seven (and in one notable instance twelve) episodes, but also with the more standard four-parters; the stereotypical third part episode would involve the regulars, having been captured or imprisoned at the end of the previous episode, breaking free and spending a lot of time running up and down corridors before being recaptured at the end. In some of the worst cases from the Jon Pertwee era, entire episodes are given over to a 25 minute chase sequence which doesn't advance the plot at all.
    • The one-shot special to announce the actor who would be playing the Eleventh Doctor was basically five minutes of padding and fifty-five minutes of mindless filler.
    • Particularly painful padding in the classic series is the long shots of characters turning knobs and levers ever so slowly, or lingering on them making tea (or doing something equally mundane) just a bit longer than necessary.
    • In "City of Death", there's a whole lot of shots of the Doctor and Romana just merrily running around Paris; excused partly by the BBC wanting to get their money's worth out of the location shooting (literally all they could afford was a silent shoot with Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and no other actors, and they may... um, not have asked permission to film from anyone), and partly for Scenery Porn.
    • Inferno has been described as a four-part story with episode three removed and replaced with another four-part story. Fortunately, both stories are generally considered classics.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • The Autons. Basically anything made of plastic could come to life.
    • "The Waters of Mars". Don't drink the water. Don't even touch it. Not One Drop. Being turned into a monster if you touch something that your body physically needs is terrifying.
    • How about: "Don't blink. Don't even blink. Blink and you're dead! They are fast. Faster than you could believe. Don't turn your back, don't look away, and don't blink! Good Luck."
    • Steven Moffat seems to be determined to give the entire planet a phobia of everything. So far he's covered ticking, statues, shadows and now cracks on the wall and... whatever the Smilers are.
      • And now anything that captures the image of a Weeping Angel becomes an angel. You have one on your television screen? It might just come out and get you, so don't look away. And if you stare at it too long, you might get one in your head. "Don't blink, don't look at it."
      • Makes people scared to death of their Gran's angel collection, too.
      • He's now extended that to Wifi, finding something that is completely undetectable to human senses and is virtually omnipresent.
    • Speaking of Moff, he also came up with the Silence, monsters that you instantly forget exist whenever you're not looking at them. Also, they look like Slender Man.
    • Gangers. Human clones with the same memories. So how are you going to tell the original and the copy apart? Well, you can't, unless the Ganger is incomplete and has that smooth, transparent face. Just hope you won't be seeing it in the mirror. And then there's the twist of "The Almost People": who's to say that you aren't unknowingly piloting a ganger right now, separated from all your friends and family who don't even know you're missing?
    • "A Christmas Carol". So you're just minding your own business, ruling a planet as the Scrooge you are. Then a guy comes into your house, shows you footage of your childhood, then appears in said footage and changes it, rewriting your memories in the meantime. At the same time, a guy appears when you're 8 and starts saying stuff like "I'm better than your nanny" at an age you can probably see the Double Entendre, even if the time-traveling alien doesn't. Then the guy almost kills you in your past several times, while you see the live feed in your present. And there's nothing you can do about it.
    • The Silence are made of this. They're everywhere on Earth, they could be in this very room, and forget about them every time you look away from them, and they can plan suggestions in your head forcing you to do something without you ever knowing why. If you know they exist, you'll still forget them after seeing them.
    • Moff did it again with the Daleks of all things. In "Asylum of the Daleks" we are introduced to the Dalek Puppets; people that have been partially transformed into Daleks using nanotechnology. You can't tell they are Daleks until their eyestalk pokes through their forehead. And the kicker? The Dalek-ified people don't even realize that anythings wrong until they remember that they died. You or anyone else can be a Dalek and you'd never know it.
  • Periphery Demographic: The classic series was popular with the gay community. As there was almost no suggestion of any sexuality at all, viewers could add their own interpretations on the various relationships between characters.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Donna Noble, thanks to a lot of character development. Unfortunately all undone at the end of series four.
    • Mickey Smith, from "The Age of Steel". Solidified at the end of "Army of Ghosts".
    • The Seventh Doctor was regarded as a bumbling fool during his first season, with his mixing of metaphors and playing the spoons. However in the next two seasons he turned into a darker character known for being The Chessmaster of the Doctors, meaning he is one of the best regarded Doctors.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • In The Sun Makers, Goudry is played by Michael Keating, better known for his later role as Vila Restal of Blake's 7.
    • The policeman pursuing the kidnappers in The Twin Dilemma is Mr Gibbs.
    • Lisa Bowerman and Adele Silva appear in Survival.
    • Maxil is the Sixth Doctor
    • Five years before becoming the first actor to play Davros, Michael Wisher has a fairly minor role as a broadcaster in "The Ambassadors of Death". He also appeared in "Terror of the Autons" and "Carnival of Monsters" and voiced the Daleks in "Death to the Daleks".
    • Lon from "Snakedance" is Gary from Men Behaving Badly and Doc Martin.
    • The Celestial Toymaker is Alfred Pennyworth.
    • John in "Remembrance of the Daleks" is Geoffrey from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
    • Series 3 and 4 co-star Freema Agyeman shows up in the series 2 episode "Army of Ghosts" Martha's strangely-identical cousin.
    • Jeff from "The Eleventh Hour" is Sir Percival.
      • And speaking of which, Jethro from "Midnight" is Merlin himself.
    • Frank from "Daleks in Manhattan" and "Evolution of the Daleks"? Spider-Man.
  • Rewatch Bonus: In "Utopia," once you know that Yana is actually the Master, a lot of his more subtle parallels with the Doctor start to become obvious.
    • He admits that he's never taught at a university, and that the title "Professor" is just an affectation—just like a Time Lord's title.
    • His relationship with Chantho is deliberately written to evoke the Doctor's relationships with his Companions.
    • He's an excitable Cool Old Guy with a love of science and experimentation, and he wears flamboyant antiquated clothing—just like all of the Doctor's earliest incarnations.
  • Robo Ship: Doctor and TARDIS. Hinted at at various occasions, especially during the tenth and the beginning of the eleventh Doctor's tenure. Now, official, in-universe canon
  • Rooting for the Empire: Let's face it, there are people out there who aren't Doctor Who fans per-se, but really Dalek fans. During the 60s when Doctor Who first started and the Daleks first appeared, the case of people rooting for the Dalek Empire was so great, it led to the Daleks becoming the first recurring enemy of the show, and subsequently a wave of pop culture surrounding them called 'Dalekmania', marked by an excess of Dalek merchendise, comic books focused on them, and film versions of their first two TV serials. They even got comic strips before the Doctor before their second appearance.
  • Running the Asylum: It's the longest running Science Fiction show in existence, heavily influencing just about everyone in England who ever did anything related to Science Fiction. Its a fair bet that there's a few long-time fans on the payroll, such as David Tennant.
  • Scapegoat Creator:
    • The series has no one creator to lay blame on, but aside from original producer Verity Lambert, legendary writer Robert Holmes and arguably Tom Baker's second producer, Philip Hinchcliffe, just about everyone who's ever worked on the show has been designated Scapegoat Creator by some segments of fandom. John Nathan-Turner (Producer, 1980-9) and Russell T Davies (Executive Producer and Head Writer 2005-2010) are both frequent and popular targets of this.
    • Current Head Writer Steven Moffat has become the target of this, as of Series Six. Heck, the mid-season finale alone broke the fanbase like a damaged spinal cord, to say nothing of the series finale.
  • The Scrappy:
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Inverted with the Seventh's tenure - skip his first season, and he had a more than acceptable run.
    • While not a severe case of this trope, the last full seasons for both the First and Second Doctors are felt to be a slight step down after two very solid seasons each.
    • The Third Doctor's last season is easily his worst, despite the arrival of Sarah Jane. Even Jon Pertwee and producer Barry Letts admitted this being the case, due to a combination of fatigue and depression over the death of Roger Delgado.
    • The Fourth Doctor's era is generally regarded to have gone downhill after the departures of Philip Hinchcliffe and Robert Holmes. Whether or not this applies to his final season usually depends on whether you're the type who thinks Doctor Who should be serious sci-fi (in which case it's usually regarded as a decent send-off) or whether you think it should be campy and fun (in which case it's where the Fourth Doctor's run completely went to hell).
    • Of the revived series, the seasons most commonly agreed to be this are Series 2 (due to lack of solid writing in standalone episodes and over reliance on camp despite great chemistry between the actors) and Series 6 (due to an overly-complex and confusing story arc that stretched out longer than it should have and a mid-season plot twist combined with shifted episode placements making for inconsistent characterization).
    • Series 3 and 7 are also accused due to similar reasons as their respective predecessors (weak episodes such as "Daleks in Manhattan" for 3 and confused arcs and awkward mid-season shifts for 7), but are thought by many to be vast improvements. Specifically, the second half of season 7 seems to be what's seen the most criticism, due to a jarring difference in tone from its first half and a new companion many fans see as a mystery without much characterization to hold one's interest in the solution. Even its best episodes are considered merely adequate after a largely well-received first half to the season.
    • Ironically a lot of people still think Series 3 is the best of the revival. Often these are those who prefer Martha over Rose.
  • Shipping: Jamie with Victoria, Peri and Zoe. And Two.
    • Romana/Four. Especially when she was the first woman the Doctor notes as attractive. Helps that Tom Baker and Lalla Ward were in a real-life relationship at the time.
    • Nyssa and the Fourth/Fifth Doctors.
    • Chesterton/Wright. Canon as of The Sarah Jane Adventures' fourth series, which mention an "Ian and Barbara Chesterton".
    • Ben/Polly. Running an orphanage according to the above SJA episode.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: People pretty much ship Anyone/Anyone on the show. Canon or not, they can get very defensive over their ship(s).
  • So Bad, It's Good: "The Underwater Menace"; one printed review in SFX magazine describing it as "Plan Nine from Doctor Who".
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • While a heavy-handed episode, "The Sun Makers" does highlight the oppressive nature of an out-of-control bureaucracy especially when it's revealed the Usurians are using the system to work and tax the human race to death.
    • Sure, "Vincent and the Doctor" was basically a Very Special Episode about depression - even the monster that provides the plot can be read as a metaphor for van Gogh's mental illness - but it was handled so maturely that it falls squarely into this category. Even knowing that his paintings will be incredibly famous and loved in the future, Vincent still kills himself, because it's not a matter of cheering him up: he's got a disease that nobody in his time understands.
    • Likewise, "Turn Left" is one of the most mature depictions of modern fascism that you'll ever see on mainstream television because it specifically avoids positioning an Obviously Evil dictator in a convenient villain role. As the episode points out, oppressive regimes don't just rise to power because of evil people with evil agendas, they rise to power when a populace becomes too scared and beaten-down to question its authority figures. Far too often, it just takes a few random disasters to rob people of their hope.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • The BBC was somewhat notorious for giving the set and costume designers of Doctor Who a shoestring budget; that is, a bundle of shoe strings that they were expected to make fifteen monsters out of. Interestingly enough, however, this has always been viewed as part of the series' charm, and the fanbase reacted negatively when the TV movie upped the effects budget.
    • The low budget also effected the Chroma Key work throughout the seventies and eighties. It pops up every now and then in after 2005 but very infrequently.
    • The Kamelion prop could barely move... and whenever it did move, the movements were incredibly herky-jerky.
    • The Myrka from the Fifth Doctor adventure Warriors of the Deep, aka that thing that looks like a Pantomime horse done by two dudes in a blanket.
    • When the Doctor's army reveal themselves, you can already see Strax on screen for a moment before the sound effect, and there's no visual effect either.
    • A particularly odd example occurs in Cold Blood when Rory is fatally zapped by a ray gun. The scene itself isn't an example, but soon after, as Amy's memories of Rory are getting erased, we get a flashback to that moment that doesn't include the lighting effects of the ray gun, so it looks like Rory's writhing in pain at nothing. So that's a Special Effects Failure of a flashback of a scene we saw less than two minutes earlier, where the Special Effects had worked just fine.
  • Squick:
    • The pulsating brain in The Trial of a Time Lord: Mindwarp is nauseating. Great effect, though.
    • In "Love & Monsters", Elton mentions having a love life with a slab of concrete, with the slab rightfully telling him not to go into any more detail.
    • The Doctor gets himself and Amy ejected from a giant mouth by making the animal vomit. They go out screaming, with their mouths open.
    • The Headless Monks. All that remains of their heads is a tied-off stump.
  • Strangled by the Red String:
    • "Invasion of Time": companion Leela decides to stay on Gallifrey and marry the guard Andred. There's been nothing romantic between them. While the actors tried to suggest attraction in the story with their acting, the script didn't give them much to work with. It was basically, Doctor: "Come on, Leela, let's go." Leela: "No, I'm going to stay here and marry Andred." Doctor: "Okay, bye." This happened because the actress told the producer she was leaving at the end of the season, and he kept trying to change her mind. The Big Finish audio drama series Gallifrey ends up subverting this relationship in a fairly satisfying way.
    • The posthumous pairing of Peri with King Yrcanos at the end of "Trial of a Time Lord". Apparently, Colin Baker was distressed by Peri's death at the end of the "Mindwarp" portion of the Trial story arc and mentioned this to producer John Nathan-Turner. JNT, in his usual subtle way, fixed the problem by giving the Inquisitor a quick line stating that Peri is living happily with Yrcanos as a warrior queen, despite how nothing in the story, apart from the brief clip of his putting his hand on her shoulder that is shown after that line, supports that romance, and doing a Retcon of it makes a hash of the entire end of the story.
    • Martha Jones and Mickey Smith, two characters who before "Journey's End" had never even met, and had only been onscreen together in the scene where everybody from the new series ever flies the TARDIS, are shown in their "happy ending" vignette in The End of Time as a married couple, freelancers and fighting a Sontaran. This is despite the fact that Martha had been shown to be engaged in a previous appearance (though her fiance never showed up). This naturally got a lot of accusations that they were only paired up because they're both black.
    • River and Eleven for some, due to the main gimmick of their relationship being that they meet in the wrong order and therefore one tends to gain affection as the other loses it. Post-"The Wedding of River Song" they seem to be on the same wavelength, alleviating this aspect of their relationship.
  • Strawman Has a Point: In the serial "The Invasion", aspiring glamour photographer Isobel suggests getting proof of the Cybermen's presence in the sewers by going down to take pictures. The Brigadier agrees, but intends to use his own men instead, on the basis that such a situation is no place for a lady. Isobel blows up at how backward and sexist he's being, but the Brig refuses, and both girls gang up on Jamie for agreeing with him and both she and Zoe walk away in a huff to get the pics themselves with Jamie worriedly tagging along, which ends up getting a police officer and a UNIT soldier sent to rescue them killed. While it could easily be argued that the Brig was in the wrong to assume they could not handle themselves for being women, it might have been better to let trained and experienced soldiers do the dangerous work, and neither of the girls are called out for their reckless actions getting two men killed.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • The Doctor certainly has some choice words for Adric and his dubious behavior in "Four to Doomsday":
    5th Doctor: Now listen to me, you young idiot, you're not so much gullible as idealistic. I suppose it comes from your deprived delinquent background.
    • And earlier in the same story, Nyssa tells him to shut up.
    • In an extra on the DVD version of "Earthshock", Adric survives the spaceship crash, lands on prehistoric Earth... and is promptly eaten by a Tyrannosaurus. A detached Cyberman head remarks, "Excellent."
  • Tear Jerker: Has its own page.
  • Theme Pairing: There's a portion of the fandom that ships Adric/Nyssa because they look cute together as Orphaned Human Alien Teen Geniuses traveling through time and space together.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • Fan reaction to almost any regeneration and companion addition, sometimes initial, sometimes permanent. Given that the show is over 50 years old and finished its 33rd season in 2013, with regular change of cast and fourteen different actors who played the main character's thirteen different incarnationsnote , it is bound to invoke this trope.
    • This is particularly true for Matt Smith's run as the Doctor since they changed basically everything at the same time: new Doctor, new companions, new showrunner, new tone, new cameras, new TARDIS interior, new title sequence, new theme song arrangement, new foes (including a new look for the Daleks, though this was relegated later on), and even a new sonic screwdriver. And if you add the facts that Matt Smith is the youngest actor ever to play the Doctor, that he directly succeeded David Tennant (who as of 2013 is still considered the most popular Doctor, especially to younger fans), and that Smith's Doctor is the goofiest yet of the revived series (Tennant and even Christopher Eccleston had their moments, but that was it), you clearly get this trope in action.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The Great Intelligence in the second part of Series 7. The show makes an effort to reimagine him as an Evil Counterpart to The Doctor, and seems to leave the impression he'll be an interesting long-term enemy toward The Doctor. Not only are the implications or similarities to The Doctor and Great Intelligence left mostly unexplored, but by the end of the series, the Intelligence is most likely dead, or at least won't be appearing again for a long time.
    • Canton Everett Delaware III. "The Impossible Astronaut" almost outright states that he's one of the Doctor's most trusted still-living human allies, since he's one of just five people that he chose to tell about his impending "death" (the other four being Amy, Rory, River and himself). Aside from that, he's a very memorable Badass Normal maverick FBI agent who answers directly to the President of the United States, and he's openly engaged in an interracial same-sex relationship in the 1960's. In spite of all that juicy development, though, he's completely dropped after the two-part opener of Series 6 and never mentioned again.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: At the end of "The End of Time Part 1", the Master has turned every human on Earth into the Master except two people: the Doctor's current companion, Wilfred Mott and Wilfred's granddaughter, former companion Donna Noble and Donna's starting to remember! OMG! Are we about to see the return of the Doctor Donna? Maybe she'll find a clever way to keep her memories without dying! At the very least, she's bound to play a key, pivotal role in Part 2, right? Right?? Wrong. At the start of Part 2, she gets chased around a little, then some Applied Phlebotinum the Doctor left in her brain kicks in, knocking her and her pursuers out, and she doesn't wake up (and isn't seen again onscreen) until after the main crisis is over, and she wakes with her damn amnesia still intact.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • As noted, the claim for shortest tenure belongs to the Eighth Doctor. Which for all the flaws of his one singular appearance in-canon, most will agree that Paul McGann gave it all it was worth and was a great Doctor nevertheless.
      • It should be noted, however, that the Eighth Doctor had long tenures offscreen before regenerating in 2013.
    • The Ninth Doctor had the second-shortest tenure (12 weeks).
    • Father Octavian from The Time of Angels/Flesh And Stone. He sets a standard for Face Death with Dignity that from now on everyone's going to be struggling to match.
    • Isaac from A Town Called Mercy. He's loyal, brave, is a man of integrity and a leader that everyone seems to trust, has a dry sense of humour and is quite easy on the eyes (being played by Ben Browder). Of course he's doomed.
  • Too Sexy For This Timeslot: Some of the papers felt that Amy's policewoman outfit was this.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: The Seventh Doctor serial "Ghost Light" is relatively confusing and nonsensical. Naturally many fans see it as brilliant commentary.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The Adipose (cutest Body Horror ever!)
    • Prisoner Zero can be this when it's not trying to scare people. Especially when you hear its voice.
    • The Ood. In fricking spades.
    • Ganger-Jennifer. Her degeneration makes her look like Voldemort's younger sister.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The Autons have this as their main schtick.
    • Incomplete Gangers, likely also done on purpose have pale skin, visible veins, and oddly smooth features. Even seeing one of The Doctor is unsettling.
    • The way the Sky-creature from "Midnight" moves its head at first is just wrong.
    • The Family in "Human Nature", but Son of Mine in particular... he never blinks...
    • The Cybermen's blank faces in most incarnations.
    • See Woobie.Doctor Who.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Even accepting the recons and the wonky production values, many people trying to get into the Hartnell/Troughton era nowadays find it hard due to the rather questionable portrayals of race and gender.
    • Averted with Tomb of the Cybermen. Its treatment of race is cliche at worst. Also Toberman was originally supposed to be deaf, but the script didn't make this clear.
    • Even allowing for some Deliberate Values Dissonance of the 'Victorian horror-adventure pulp' feel it's evoking, "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" itself reflects some questionable (1970s) attitudes towards race; in particular The Dragon, a Chinese character, is played by a white actor in yellow-face; granted, the character is otherwise depicted in a well-rounded and even sympathetic fashion, but even so.
  • Values Resonance: "Vengeance on Varos", despite being made in The Eighties, could almost be a parody on certain forms of modern reality TV, seeing as Varosian society (with televised Bread and Circuses entertainment and viewers voting if people live or die) almost seems to resemble Big Brother or The X Factor meets 1984.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Alpha Centauri, an alien hermaphrodite, who has an obviously female voice and mannerisms but is usually referred to as "he". Apparently he was meant to be played like a gay civil servant.
  • Villain Decay:
    • The Classic Series' Cybermen went from "no known weaknesses" to "gold dust interferes with their respiratory systems" to "holy crap, anything gold kills them dead". The Five Doctors and Attack of the Cybermen didn't utilise any gold weaknesses, but they were still quickly shot down in droves, including one who forgot it was immune to ordinary bullets. The trend has been reversed since "Rise of the Cybermen", the first Cyberman episode since the Sylvester McCoy era. Although the ones that appeared from 2006-2008 weren't from Mondas, a single Mondasian Cyberman in "The Pandorica Opens" has more nasty tricks up its sleeve than they ever did in the classic episodes — including lasers, tranquilizer darts, Combat Tentacles and the ability to function separately as a body and a severed head when necessary. Three years later, "Nightmare in Silver" (described by Word of God as a "cross-breeding" of Cybus [the corporation that created the 2006-08 Cybermen] and Mondas tech, and in-story using some of the source code of the older Cybermen in its Cybermites) added Adaptive Ability and Super Speed to their arsenal, while keeping a nod to the "body working separately from the head" seen in "The Pandorica Opens".
    • The Slitheen were fairly menacing in "Aliens of London", "World War Three" and "Boom Town". By the third series of The Sarah Jane Adventures, they were quickly caught by their "cousins".
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Seriously, for all the mocking the classic series receives for its Special Effects Failures, they did manage to achieve some pretty awesome effects on pretty much no money at times. Examples that immediately come to mind include the epic opening shot of the space station in Trial of a Time Lord and the flying ships in Enlightenment.
  • Wangst: Tegan was always whining and complaining about something.
    • These moments were very common during Russell T Davies' run on the show, with the Tenth Doctor and Rose getting the worst of it.
  • What an Idiot: So, Dorium, what did you think would happen when you attemped to negotiate with the Headless Monks?
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The show itself is considered family viewing, despite its dark tone of certain episodes and surprising amount of sexual innuendo and it is shown around the supper hour on a Saturday. Doctor Who is over fifty years old and neatly matches the second paragraph of this trope's description. It's very much seen as a family/children's show, but it's been violent from the very beginning. A BBC audience research survey conducted in 1972 found that Doctor Who was the most violent show it produced at the time (cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_who). The show was especially violent during the first few Fourth Doctor seasons, consistently getting complaints, and the show was also so violent in 1985 that it got the show cancelled for 18 months. For instance, The Brain Of Morbius (1976) featured a man getting shot in the stomach with an explosion of blood, then crawling, dying, down a corridor.
    • Even the first few stories could be really dark. In the first story "An Unearthly Child" the Doctor is a quite morally ambiguous figure, and there were some surprisingly violent scenes, such as a Caveman covered in blood and a cave of broken skulls. "The Edge of Destruction" uses haunted house tropes and has Susan wildly stabbing a bed with scissors.
    • Also a number of classic and revival stories have been rated 12 by the BBFC.
    • A lot of stories from the '80s, thanks to writers and producers making the show Bloodier and Gorier. Attack of the Cyberman has a 15+ rating in Australia, but it was still shown at 6 o'clock at night.
    • Season 22 is notorious for this, showing someone having their hands crushed and showing several people being stabbed to death. This is lampshaded in "Vengeance on Varos".
    • John Simm stated that Doctor Who being a kids' show was the main reason why he decided to play as The Master (He wanted to show his son that he could act). Of course, the episodes he was in involved twisted monsters from the future wiping out a good portion of humanity, the Master being ressurected as a superpowered being who devours humans to satisfy his endless hunger, and turning the entire human population into copies of himself.
    • Current show runner Steven Moffat has written about how annoyed and insulted he is whenever people use the phrase "kid's show" as a derogatory thing.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?:
    • Pretty much every time they've shown up, there's some sort of political tie-in that can be debated with the Silurians. The old-series seemed to have a more Soviet/Communist slant to the reptilians, while the modern re-imagining almost mirrors conflicts between native peoples of a land and those who would come to settle on it.
    • The McCoy era has had several examples of this, some confirmed, some jossed. Word of God has specifically denied fan theories that the red, blue and yellow Kangs were a reference to the colours of the UK's three major political parties at the time.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The Mark of the Rani. summary  WHAT. THE. HELL.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?:
    • Nicholas Parsons' casting as Reverend Wainwright in The Curse of Fenric might appear to be an example of this at first glance, given that he was best known for being a quiz show host at the time of the story's airing. In reality Parsons was actually a pretty experienced actor, although he hadn't done any TV acting work for over a decade when the story was made. (The director wasn't aware of this prior to recording of the story, but when he noticed Parsons could actually act a number of scenes were hastily rewritten to give his character more development.)
    • Beryl Reid as Captain Briggs in Earthshock. This was due to producer John Nathan Turner's love for light entertainment.
    • Nathan-Turner's era as producer in general has been strongly criticised by many fans for Stunt Casting without much consideration as to whether the celebrity guest was actually suited to the role. The Russell T Davies era, on the other hand, was noticeable for its intelligent casting of celebrity guests in roles that were suited to them, with celebrities who weren't really actors reserved for walk-on roles or cameos as themselves.
    • Eric Roberts as the Master.

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