Administrivia Example Indentation In Trope Lists Discussion

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08:19:22 PM Dec 4th 2015
Why is the Super Trope-Sub-Trope organization method here done that way? The two examples for "wrong" would not actually be a problem assuming the rule was just specified that's how it's organized. Then if you want to find the subtrope, you just go to the Super Trope's place in the alphabet. The "right" examples seem to just create an abundance of redundant explanation.
02:03:14 AM Dec 5th 2015
Because a lot of people don't understand subtropes-supertropes. Meaning that they will either a) put the subtrope under the wrong trope or b) will not understand why a trope is classed under another. Alphabetic ordering is much more clear.
04:58:20 PM Dec 5th 2015
But there's lots of people who don't understand any rule on this site about organizing a page. It's a wiki, it's assumed that some people won't know the rules and that others will ultimately end up haivng to correct that mistake. It seems like the kind of misunderstaning that could be fixed with an index of supertropes, and a list of subtropes for that trope existing.
03:57:19 AM Dec 6th 2015
This won't work. We can't convince people to follow such a page and given that the vast majority of tropes are either subtropes, supertropes or both it'd be unreadably large.
07:54:49 PM Dec 4th 2015
How should these rules be applied on Headscratchers pages? They're not really like most trope pages, but aren't included in the list of discussion spaces.
07:07:01 AM Jul 18th 2015
edited by DonaldthePotholer
However, three-bullet situations sometimes are legit. Rarely. If you find yourself needing a third level of indentation, take a look at using a header, instead.

The use of headers within an examples list seems to have been depricated, save for the various forms of Playing with a Tropenote  and the listings of examples of an Interactive Trope, separating the later into interactive and non-interactive media. The common convention is to use folders instead, due to their collapsability. I propose removing the last sentence in the referenced paragraph and, at the end of the Trope Page sub-section, adding the following:

If a franchise has a lot of examples spread amongst its various works, then it should get its own separate folder immediately prior to it medium[note]If there are multiple such franchises, they should be listed alphabetically followed by the medium's general folder[/note] and each bullet level moved up one rank. If a Medium-Specific sub-page is required, said folder is either retained (if it's one foldered franchise of many in that medium) or becomes a header (if it's the only foldered work in that medium).

Also, in the Super-Sub Sorting Section, there should be an allowance for if an example is either generic relative to the primary trope or is of a rarely seen subtrope to discourage Square Peg, Round Trope. e.g.: Just a plain old Badass in a work which also has a Badass Normal and a Badass Bookworm in a work which does not occur in a World of Badass.

Finally, since this page deals in lists of examples, a word on how to handle an example that applies in general to a medium, genre, or a significant subset of either should be added. What I mean by that is the case where "Trope Variant A" is applied in most works of a genre, (and/or may well be a Necessary Weasel of a subset,) and Work B applies "Trope Variant C" regardless of whether or not it also applies "Variant A". Examples where Work B doesn't apply the trope at all or Subverts it would be relocated to the appropriate header.
02:04:40 AM Apr 27th 2015
edited by Khyron42_Prime
Is there any possibility of discussing the merits of the rule on "Composite Tropes" such as The Team, or Five Man Band and its villainous counterpart?

The indented version of this particular type of trope has several advantages, and its popularity across the wiki (despite the rule) stands as testament to its effectiveness. The Five Man Band has a particular set of subtropes, and without specifying which are in play for which characters, very little information is actually conveyed by the example.

It just doesn't make sense to have an entry declaring a group of characters to BE The Team without explaining HOW they do so - it borders on being a Zero-Context Example:

  • The Team: Tom, Dick, Harry, Lisa and Sean.

Adding "work as The Team" or "are a five-man band" or somesuch is redundant and unhelpful. This entry is just a list of names without context or use. You'd have to comb through the entire page just to learn how this example applies, and no sense of relationship is conveyed; The Lancer example might convey that Sean is The Lancer to Tom's Hero, but if Lisa is The Chick, her entry either has to a) contain the entire list of names AGAIN, or b) rely on the reader having memorized the list given in Five Man Band. Whereas:

Basically, the indented form is a very effective way of organizing the information about how the "composite trope" is being used, and NOT using it leads not only to poorly-conveyed relationships, but also to a completely uninformative example under the supertrope's entry. Additionally, this can now occur:

This way, characters who fit the respective subtropes within their groups can now be acknowledged as such even when their role in the overall story is too minor to warrant their inclusion as a primary trope example. Also, when you have Loads and Loads of Characters a Re Tool, or a Long Runner, you might have more than one Team:

Keeping track of the relationships between these two sets of five characters could be extremely frustrating, requiring many redundant re-statements of each team's members in each separate entry. This way, all of the relevant information is conveyed up-front.

Now, simply listing the various subtropes is certainly a Zero-Context Example, but naming each subtrope and which character (or whatever) applies to each seems necessary to give the entry any context at all. And I'm not advocating the simple supertrope/subtrope indented lists, like the example for Badass; but those aren't built around relationships, they're simply ideas which are generally related. When it comes to an example which requires the relationships between various characters and their archetypes to be understood, the bulleted system is clean, efficient, and effective - and again, already widely used in spite of the prohibition here.
02:10:35 AM Apr 27th 2015
No merits at all. It's been problems, problems and problems. I would suggest the Wiki Talk forum if you are really keen on this.
02:20:01 AM Apr 27th 2015
edited by Khyron42_Prime
So... the merits I listed are... not merits? I don't mean to be rude, but that reply is completely dismissive, and sort of makes it sound like you read the first line and then skipped the rest. What's the point of having a discussion page if we aren't allowed to discuss the page? What problems. for example, has it caused? Why, if it has "no merit at all", is it still in such wide use?
03:03:34 AM Apr 27th 2015
All these subbullets are still ZCE, and such subbulleting tends to end up as an arbitrary sorting that then sparks arguments.

Wiki discussion pages are not fora for changing wiki policy. They are for the articles.
08:01:14 PM Mar 31st 2015
This may have been mentioned before, but how does one format song quotes?
08:03:58 PM Mar 31st 2015
Never mind, wrong page. I'll move this to the formatting page. Sorry!
11:30:14 AM Nov 7th 2014
edited by
This isn't really clear on how to handle sequel series listed under the same trope. Here, I'll use Friendly Tickle Torture as an example. Which is correct?

  • The Alice and Bob Show:
    • Alice tickles Bob for stealing her pudding in Episode 3.
    • In Alice and Bob Are Back, Bob returns the favor and tickles Alice to wake her up.

Or is it

  • In The Alice and Bob Show, Alice tickles Bob for stealing her pudding in Episode 3.
  • In Alice and Bob Are Back, Bob Returns the favor and tickles Alice to wake her up.
02:46:52 AM Oct 23rd 2014
Hi. Please clarify this, are bullets are banned now? How about multiple examples?

For instance this trope:

  • Signature Scene
    • Season 1
      • Bob proposes to Alice.
    • Season 2
      • Alice and Bob got married.
03:24:08 AM Oct 23rd 2014
That is more correct like so:
  • Signature Scene:
    • Season 1: Bob proposes to Alice.
    • Season 2: Alice and Bob got married.
03:50:23 AM Oct 23rd 2014
What if there's more than a single Signature Scene?


  • Signature Scene
    • Season 1:
    • Bob proposes to Alice.
    • Charlie being rejected by Alice.
    • Charlie gives Alice and Bob his blessings.

04:02:53 AM Oct 23rd 2014
Per season? Then it might be like:
04:19:57 AM Oct 23rd 2014
You mean just disregard what season that scene took place and list them chronologically?
05:10:50 AM Oct 23rd 2014
Well, if "Bob proposes to Alice" and "Charlie being rejected by Alice" happen in "Season 1", they should not be on the same bullet level.

That said another possibility is:
03:19:47 AM Oct 27th 2014
Yup, that possibility is what I was trying to say.
12:39:27 AM Sep 29th 2014
Is there a page explaining colon indentation after a quote? If not, this would likely be the page for it.
03:37:50 AM Sep 29th 2014
Not sure what "colon indentation" is.
08:23:26 AM Sep 29th 2014
Meaning the type of indentation done when an example contains a -->quote and text after that quote. I wasn't exactly sure that was the right name for it, I just called it that since it's usually done with colons (:) at the start of a line.
02:46:11 PM Jun 28th 2014
Hi everyone, I'm new to TV Tropes. I've read the page in Administrivia about how to indent example pages, but I'm wondering what to do when an example shows up with the same character across both a work and its sequel.

I apologize if this has already been addressed, but I looked and couldn't find it. Thanks!

03:08:24 PM Jun 28th 2014

in that case, I would write two separate examples for the original and the sequel respectively. If the examples are nearly identical, I would use the same entry for both works.
12:33:07 PM May 8th 2014
edited by
How should tropes like Combo Platter Powers be organized? I've seen people organize them like this: I'm seeing a lot of pages like this and I can't tell if that's how it should really be. I think it's incorrect because of "all tropes in a list should be at the same level of indentation, and in alphabetical order", but I want to make sure before I do anything.
01:02:58 PM May 8th 2014
Well, no, that is not OK. Each trope needs its own first-level bullet.

Also, examples written like that are Zero Context Examples and undesirable anyhow.
02:58:29 PM Feb 17th 2014
The whole "no organization of tropes and subtropes" thing makes work pages harder to read.
03:03:18 PM Feb 17th 2014
I'd like to dispute that statement, since it means that I can always find a trope at its alphabetical place.
02:40:09 PM Apr 27th 2014
If the alphabet is your highest concern, rather than how tropes relate to each other. I know my ABC's just fine but I actually don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of story telling tropes, much less of the names users here are inclined to give them. Plus, if you actually want to see how the related tropes are handled in the story it is nice to have them close together.

The only possible advantage is see here is a cut down on space filling but that it also seems like a way to promote sink holes and over reliance on trope names than common language if it means everything must be kept on the same bullet point for the sake of alphabetization.
02:53:35 PM Apr 27th 2014
Plus, if you actually want to see how the related tropes are handled in the story it is nice to have them close together.

No, that just enourages poor example writeup. And yeah, findability is more important than relationships which can be gleaned from the example writeups.
03:58:56 PM Apr 27th 2014
Is it really though. See, if I spent more of my time adding examples, rather than fixing bad ones and conforming them to an increasingly larger set of rules I would have added Stunned Silence or some variation of it if I found a more appropriate trope to the Delirious page.

However, this trope only occurred once as far as I know, at the first NWA Wild side Super Indy Challenge Championship. His winning it is already mentioned under Tournament Arc. So I would just put stunned silence under there. It's worth singling out only because Delirious is otherwise a Motor Mouth, which is higher up the page and thus more likely to be read first, so I don't want their to seem like a contradiction later (examples not being arguable and all that) but it still only happened once in response to one event.

Now, if it happened more than once, then I would put stunned silence into its own category because it is a more significant trope now, rather than something that only happened once in response to one event.

But honestly, if you know a trope is somewhere ahead of time, the 'Ctrl'(control) and 'F' keys will find it faster than anything else. For those there because we are interested in the work (or wrestler's career in this case) its nice to get the most directly related parts together and it not encounter fragments of the same idea all around the page, particularly on long pages. I wrestling there is often little difference between a power trio like The Shield and a power stable like The Authority. If I'm listing power stables on a potential Tyler Black, it being a requested page and all, I'd rather just list The Shield with the Authority, Age Of The Fall and everything else related he's been a part of, rather than go through the page and see yet another list of samey groups in this context that are simply smaller and with a slightly different character dynamic.

If they must know more about how the two tropes can be wildly different or have unrelated use(as they would not in this case) they can click the trope pages.
04:09:25 AM Apr 28th 2014
Among other things, phone users are becoming a major part of our audience and a lot of phones don't have a search function.

Also, having people rely on a link to elsewhere is yet again a wiki policy violation.

Finally, half of your argument doesn't seem to be about subtropes at all. Or maybe it's too reliant on specific examples for me to understand it. It needs a lot of rewriting.
08:07:00 PM Dec 4th 2015
I don't actually think this damages the alphabetical sorting at all. As long as you formalize the tropes that get sorted as second bullets to a parent trope (which essentially already exists in most cases like Five Man Band), all it would mean is that you could easily find the examples alphabetically by finding the parent trope alphabetically.
01:47:11 PM Feb 2nd 2014
edited by
Summary of post: Headers are appropriate for some pages, but not for Works pages; Characters and Recap pages could be useful in those cases.

All right, I'm confused.

In the section on Third Bullet Levels, it's said that a Header is an acceptable solution. However, I find that valid only in the case of Trope, Audience Reactions, and Trivia item pages. In these cases, the Medium can be subdivided between "Genre/Creator/Work that uses this Trope extensively A", "Genre/Creator/Work that uses this Trope extensively B", ..., "All other works in this medium".

However, on a Works page, this just doesn't fly. Actually, it shouldn't "fly"; a works page should list general or significant instances where a Trope is used. If the examples get so convoluted that the list of examples takes up a whole page height, then something's gone wrong. If the list on the works page goes like:

Then what should happen is that most of Trope-Tan's examples would go into the Characters page under Trope-Tan, leaving the main works page like this:

  • Trope:
    • Trope-Tan did this several times early on, (cite an early example, (Could be the Episode 7 example if either it's not that spoileriffic or a Late-Arrival Spoiler,)) but stopped after the first season. %5Here leave a note about the other entries being on the Characters page
    • The Alice example with Trope-Tan's response.

Now, going back to the Tropes page, if a work has instances as I've described above, then the example should read thusly:

  • Work Of Trope:
    • Trope-tan did this quite often early on, [give some typical non-spoiler examples].
    • Alice did this in Episode 50 when... (Note: If it's spoilerific, then leave it off.)

Similarly, if a particular episode has several notable instances and that episode, or the season or Story Arc that the episode is part of, has a Recap page, the details of those examples should be listed in that Recap page. If these are the only instance of the show using the Trope, then it may mean that the trope should not be listed on the works page itself. A comment may be left in the appropriate place:

  • 5* Trope: Used extensively in S2 E33 Episode Name, see the Recap page. Do not decomment.

01:55:49 PM Feb 2nd 2014
That seems fairly overcomplicated if it's a "should".
02:10:43 PM Feb 2nd 2014
The first example I've listed is a "wrong"; the other two examples are "proper corrections", with the excess examples going onto the Characters or Recap page(s) as appropriate.

The point that I'm going for is that a header is not the right solution for a Works page, due to the fact that the Trope itself would have to be the header. If there's a Trope listing on a Works page that has mutated into a long list for a single Trope, then the better options would be to take the excess examples, and sometimes the Trope itself to the appropriate Characters page entry or Recap page, if these already exist.

The problem is expressing both the distinction and the solution.
10:06:56 AM Apr 17th 2012
It's kind of funny that this page isn't locked, what with it's instrumentality in the integrity of the wiki's indenting practice.
07:36:05 AM Oct 3rd 2013
It doesn't need to be locked unless some vandal attack it. Don't give them ideas.
06:57:45 AM Feb 25th 2012
I think we need to rule on how you handle multiple examples from a series. I think it's generally accepted that:

is wrong, while:

is right. Is that correct? Can we document it here?
07:38:49 AM Oct 3rd 2013
It is usually correct, although if one sequel has multiple examples, they're automatically pushed to a third-bullet level. It depends how integrated the franchise is, I guess. For several loosely-linked movies for example, all of them being first level is correct too (they can still be grouped, of course).
10:26:39 AM Jan 15th 2012
I think something should be added to the page that indicates that this applies not just to trope lists, but also to works lists. I know that when I was new here, I read the page and understood what was wanted for works pages (which have lists of tropes), but I was very unsure whether or not these rules also applied to trope pages (which have lists of works). Adding a sentence or two at the top to clarify would probably help avoid a lot of further confusion.
09:15:35 AM Apr 8th 2011
edited by DonaldthePotholer
Another potential guideline: "Each 2nd-bullet item should be a logical extension of a Main Item (1st Level). Likewise, any justified 3rd-bullet items should be a logical extension of the closest 2nd-bullet item that is above it."

So often, I've seen example pages where it seems like a 2nd-bullet item was written to clarify a 3rd-bullet item (or sometimes another 2nd-bullet. Granted, I sometimes engage in multiple-3rd bullet threads, but seeing Alternating Bullets expanding on the same point just irks me.

Also, there may need to be some clarification to the converse. Whenever a single work exhibits the same Trope in two different ways, they need to be expressed as two separate bullet points. Merely correcting a single 2nd-bullet by just using the "new paragraph-same point" markup doesn't always work.

Perhaps we should also have a diagram of what each bullet should represent: (I violate the policy here on purpose for demonstration purposes only.)

  • On Example Pages, this is where the Work goes. On Works Pages, this is where the Example goes. (Single General Example of the Trope in action also goes here)
    • Individual Example (If a multiple characters/settings/unconnected episodes, etc. commonly exemplify this Trope, a general example for each character/setting/episode/etc. works here. A singular Most Triumphant Example for the same would also go on this line with paragraph breaks if necessary.)
      If there is only one of "generally accepted justification" or Word of God on the subject, then it that is placed here following a paragraph break. (Same with a singular example with a singular Fanon explanation/Word of God, except this would then be on the 1st level.)

If there are multiple prevailing theories on the use of a Trope with a work/character/setting/etc., then these should go in that work's Wild Mass Guessing page. Multiple Words Of God still (each) merit their own 2nd/3rd-level point. This should be the only time that a 2nd-bullet point be used when it's not an example.*

When a Trope is explored in multiple facets and when those facets don't have their own individual headers* , each facet is its own 2nd bullet point. A potential exception is when a Character/Setting/Plot Element that is commonly known for portraying a Trope one way portrays it another way, in which case the Character/Setting/Plot Element becomes the 2nd level and the Facets become the 3rd level.

Basically, pattern each work's/character's example/trope with (only) the relevant items from the Playing With template.

Oh, and when there is a character page, move all examples of a Trope pertaining to the character to that page. If it is not a Spoiler Trope, a general reference to the character may be kept on the main works page.

Man, start by talking about a Pet Peeve and I end up attempting to codify the whole practice further.

EDIT: Edited to remove Red Links

EDIT 2: One More Thing: Make Sure To Tell People To Press The Return/Enter Key Following The Backslashes!
12:02:35 PM Dec 30th 2010
I find this article really confusing.

I understand that the gist of it is that there should be more than one item at any given indentation level. That's fine.

But the article is messy. The Right/Wrong alternation in the first section is confusing; it starts with a Right that has no corresponding Wrong, then alternates Wrong/Right pairs that aren't explicitly grouped.

And the first mention of Thread Mode is in an explanation of a Wrong example—the introductory paragraph explaining what Thread Mode is and why not to use it doesn't appear until the end of the page.

The Trope Description section assumes that the reader has read the "works page" section, which the reader may not have done if they're not interested in works pages.

The Trope Description section also doesn't contain examples, and says things like "Singles on one bullet and multiples on two"—which doesn't make any sense by the usual English use of the term "bullet." Apparently in most of this article, "bullet" means "the asterisk that you type to indicate an indentation level in a bulleted list in wiki markup" rather than "the little circle that marks the start of a new item in a typeset bulleted list". That may be obvious to an experienced wiki editor, but it's confusing to a newbie.

And finally, the note at the bottom says "These are the rules of English, folks." That's just weird. For example, it's not a rule of English that you shouldn't have a third level of indentation because that indicates a discussion rather than a list.

But even the idea that you can't have only one item at a particular level of indentation isn't exactly "the rules of English." I would say it's more of a generally agreed-upon stylistic choice.

In short, this article could really use editing/cleanup. I would do it myself, except that I'm not entirely sure what various parts of it mean or why they're there, so I suspect I would mess things up.
02:12:20 PM Dec 30th 2010
Yeah, honestly I can't make heads or tails of this page. Which makes the editing reasons on other pages like, "Example Indentation in Trope Lists, read it" even more annoying than they already are. This needs a major rewrite.
02:19:14 PM Dec 30th 2010
I whittled on it.
02:22:19 PM Dec 30th 2010
That's much better, thanks.
07:11:03 AM Dec 31st 2010
Looks good! Now if only we could get anyone to actually follow it....
05:55:44 AM Jan 5th 2012
And we need an explanation as to how to correctly use third bullets. This page has little (if any) explanation for that.
12:49:03 PM Jan 5th 2012
It would be something like

  • In X-Men:
    • Storm does this a lot:
      • Example 1
      • Example 2
      • Example 3
    • Cyclops:
      • Example 1
      • Example 2
    • Wolverine:
      • Example 1
      • Example 2
      • Example 3
      • Example 4
02:19:00 PM Jan 5th 2012
Ah, that makes sense. I already do it like that, but it really should be added to the page.
11:17:41 AM Aug 30th 2010
I'm not seeing a difference between the first "wrong" and the "right" that immediately follows it.
11:42:36 AM Aug 30th 2010
edited by FastEddie
The example in the 'wrong' is on the same line as the trope name, which is fine if it is the only example. When the second example was added as a bullet point, the first example should have gotten a bullet, too.

It's a very simple rule: There should never be just one item at a particular level of indentation.
01:24:28 AM Apr 27th 2015
edited by Khyron42_Prime
Disregard, wrong button!
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