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'''All tropes can be overused.''' Too many {{Xanatos Gambit}}s tend to make the show [[MindScrew confusing]], no matter how well written they are. Too many [[MomentOfAwesome Moments Of Awesome]] take up room where plot could go, or make the audience pay less attention to the relatively boring plot bits, making the story more shallow. The MomentOfAwesome is supposed to be a singular moment for a character and the RuleOfCool can make up for weak points in a story, but rarely does it work ''as'' the story.

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'''All tropes can be overused.''' Too many {{Xanatos Gambit}}s tend to make the show [[MindScrew confusing]], no matter how well written they are. Too many [[MomentOfAwesome [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Moments Of Awesome]] take up room where plot could go, or make the audience pay less attention to the relatively boring plot bits, making the story more shallow. The MomentOfAwesome SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome is supposed to be a singular moment for a character and the RuleOfCool can make up for weak points in a story, but rarely does it work ''as'' the story.


[[TheTropelessTale It's impossible to write something completely and utterly without tropes, anyway, so stop trying.]]

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[[TheTropelessTale [[JustForFun/TheTropelessTale It's impossible to write something completely and utterly without tropes, anyway, so stop trying.]]

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'''Tropes that are bad when imitated in real life are not automatically bad in fiction.''' This is an important distinction. Many tropes contain or imply cultural, social, or moral value judgments that simply don't work the same way in fiction as they do in real life. UncleTomfoolery may be racist in real life, and based on some very nasty stereotypes, but when seen in a work, it simply ''is''. It's not necessary to [[AndThatsTerrible tell everyone how awful it is]], either in the examples or in the trope description. An extreme version of this comes when somebody wants us to cut a trope because they think it's awful. See also Administrivia/PrescriptiveVsDescriptiveLanguage.

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'''Tropes that are bad when imitated in real life are not automatically bad in fiction.''' This is an important distinction. Many tropes contain or imply cultural, social, or moral value judgments that simply don't work the same way in fiction as they do in real life. UncleTomfoolery may be racist in real life, and based on some very nasty stereotypes, but when seen in a work, it simply ''is''. It's not necessary to [[AndThatsTerrible tell everyone how awful it is]], either in the examples or in the trope description. An extreme version of this comes when somebody wants us to cut a trope because they think it's awful. it describes something bad. See also Administrivia/PrescriptiveVsDescriptiveLanguage.
Administrivia/PrescriptiveVsDescriptiveLanguage.

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'''Tropes that are bad when imitated in real life are not automatically bad in fiction.''' This is an important distinction. Many tropes contain or imply cultural, social, or moral value judgments that simply don't work the same way in fiction as they do in real life. UncleTomfoolery may be racist in real life, and based on some very nasty stereotypes, but when seen in a work, it simply ''is''. It's not necessary to [[AndThatsTerrible tell everyone how awful it is]], either in the examples or in the trope description. An extreme version of this comes when somebody wants us to cut a trope because they think it's awful. See also Administrivia/DescriptiveVsPrescriptiveLanguage.

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'''Tropes that are bad when imitated in real life are not automatically bad in fiction.''' This is an important distinction. Many tropes contain or imply cultural, social, or moral value judgments that simply don't work the same way in fiction as they do in real life. UncleTomfoolery may be racist in real life, and based on some very nasty stereotypes, but when seen in a work, it simply ''is''. It's not necessary to [[AndThatsTerrible tell everyone how awful it is]], either in the examples or in the trope description. An extreme version of this comes when somebody wants us to cut a trope because they think it's awful. See also Administrivia/DescriptiveVsPrescriptiveLanguage.
Administrivia/PrescriptiveVsDescriptiveLanguage.

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'''Tropes that are bad when imitated in real life are not automatically bad in fiction.''' This is an important distinction. Many tropes contain or imply cultural, social, or moral value judgments that simply don't work the same way in fiction as they do in real life. UncleTomfoolery may be racist in real life, and based on some very nasty stereotypes, but when seen in a work, it simply ''is''. It's not necessary to [[AndThatsTerrible tell everyone how awful it is]], either in the examples or in the trope description. An extreme version of this comes when somebody wants us to cut a trope because they think it's awful. See also Administrivia/DescriptiveVsPrescriptiveLanguage.


-->--'''Neal Gabler''', ''Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality''

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-->--'''Neal -->-- '''Neal Gabler''', ''Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality''

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->"But it's what this author is doing this time that matters, as much as, if not more than, what he or she did last time, and that, certainly, matters far more than its kinships, its family likenesses with its mode, its genres, its formal kind."
-->--'''Valentine Cunningham''', Oxford


TropesAreNotBad covers the bad half of this, but there are good reasons to remember TropesAreNotGood, too:

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TropesAreNotBad Tropes Are Not Bad covers the bad half of this, but there are good reasons to remember TropesAreNotGood, Tropes Are Not Good, too:


'''Almost every trope has a silver lining.''' The much-reviled AllJustADream was, let's not forget, used in [[{{Newhart}} one of the most highly regarded series finales]] in the history of television, as well as one of the [[TheCabinetOfDrCaligari best twist endings]] in any movie. While DarkerAndEdgier revisionism isn't always a good thing, it's been used in [[TheDarkKnight the biggest blockbuster of 2008]]. Even if a trope ''didn't'' have a silver lining, every trope could still be used honorably by way of subversion, parody, or appropriately employed and treated in-universe examples. Remember, while this site is fairly snarky, most of the snark is directed towards shows that ''don't'' use tropes well.

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'''Almost every trope has a silver lining.''' The much-reviled AllJustADream was, let's not forget, used in [[{{Newhart}} [[Series/{{Newhart}} one of the most highly regarded series finales]] in the history of television, as well as one of the [[TheCabinetOfDrCaligari [[Film/TheCabinetOfDrCaligari best twist endings]] in any movie. While DarkerAndEdgier revisionism isn't always a good thing, it's been used in [[TheDarkKnight [[Film/TheDarkKnight the biggest blockbuster of 2008]]. Even if a trope ''didn't'' have a silver lining, every trope could still be used honorably by way of subversion, parody, or appropriately employed and treated in-universe examples. Remember, while this site is fairly snarky, most of the snark is directed towards shows that ''don't'' use tropes well.


'''There is nothing new under the sun.''' Including that very statement. And the [[TheBible book]] from which it comes. Completely ignoring the possibility that one's favorite show just might ''not'' be hewn from the very essence of the universe by Thor himself and placed in the periodic table under '''Or''' for "Originalium" doesn't change the fact that it ''wasn't''. And acknowledging that it isn't should not lessen its appeal, either.

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'''There is nothing new under the sun.''' Including that very statement. And the [[TheBible [[Literature/TheBible book]] from which it comes. Completely ignoring the possibility that one's favorite show just might ''not'' be hewn from the very essence of the universe by Thor himself and placed in the periodic table under '''Or''' for "Originalium" doesn't change the fact that it ''wasn't''. And acknowledging that it isn't should not lessen its appeal, either.


There is one thing that you must keep in mind to retain your sanity here, and that is that including a trope in a particular work does not make it "''[[RuinedFOREVER ruined]]''." Not even ''[[BadWritingIndex those]]'' tropes.

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There is one thing that you must keep in mind to retain your sanity here, and that is that including a trope in a particular work does not make it "''[[RuinedFOREVER "''[[DarthWiki/RuinedFOREVER ruined]]''." Not even ''[[BadWritingIndex those]]'' tropes.


If your favorite shows have long lists of tropes associated with them, well, so do everybody's. A show featuring an ActionGirl or showing a character [[KickTheDog kicking the dog]] is not a bad thing; the former is merely a reasonable type of character (badass character who is female) and the latter is a character action that happens plenty in RealLife.

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If your favorite shows have long lists of tropes associated with them, well, so do does everybody's. A show featuring an ActionGirl or showing a character [[KickTheDog kicking the dog]] is not a bad thing; the former is merely a reasonable type of character (badass character who is female) and the latter is a character action that happens plenty in RealLife.


If your favorite shows have long lists of tropes associated with them, well, so do everybody's. A show featuring an [[ActionGirl Action Girl]] or showing a character [[KickTheDog kicking the dog]] is not a bad thing; the former is merely a reasonable type of character (badass character who is female) and the latter is a character action that happens plenty in [[RealLife Real Life]].

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If your favorite shows have long lists of tropes associated with them, well, so do everybody's. A show featuring an [[ActionGirl Action Girl]] ActionGirl or showing a character [[KickTheDog kicking the dog]] is not a bad thing; the former is merely a reasonable type of character (badass character who is female) and the latter is a character action that happens plenty in [[RealLife Real Life]].RealLife.



'''Almost every trope has a silver lining.''' The much-reviled AllJustADream was, let's not forget, used in [[{{Newhart}} one of the most highly regarded series finales]] in the history of television, as well as one of the [[TheCabinetOfDrCaligari best twist endings]] in any movie. While DarkerAndEdgier revisionism isn't always a good thing, it's been used in [[TheDarkKnight the biggest blockbuster of 2008.]] Even if a trope ''didn't'' have a silver lining, every trope could still be used honorably by way of subversion, parody, or appropriately employed and treated in-universe examples. Remember, while this site is fairly snarky, most of the snark is directed towards shows that ''don't'' use tropes well.

to:

'''Almost every trope has a silver lining.''' The much-reviled AllJustADream was, let's not forget, used in [[{{Newhart}} one of the most highly regarded series finales]] in the history of television, as well as one of the [[TheCabinetOfDrCaligari best twist endings]] in any movie. While DarkerAndEdgier revisionism isn't always a good thing, it's been used in [[TheDarkKnight the biggest blockbuster of 2008.]] 2008]]. Even if a trope ''didn't'' have a silver lining, every trope could still be used honorably by way of subversion, parody, or appropriately employed and treated in-universe examples. Remember, while this site is fairly snarky, most of the snark is directed towards shows that ''don't'' use tropes well.



'''All tropes can be written badly.''' This includes tropes that everyone thinks are good, like MagnificentBastard. A badly written MagnificentBastard may be done in such a way that everyone else in the story are [[IdiotBall idiots]] and generally gives less of an impression of intelligence and more of an impression of [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard cheating]] or changing the [[ScrewTheRulesIHavePlot internal rules]] of the story. RefugeInAudacity has different breaking points for different people.

'''All tropes can be overused.''' Too many [[XanatosGambit Xanatos Gambits]] tend to make the show [[MindScrew confusing]], no matter how well written they are. Too many [[MomentOfAwesome Moments Of Awesome]] take up room where plot could go, or make the audience pay less attention to the relatively boring plot bits, making the story more shallow. The MomentOfAwesome is supposed to be a singular moment for a character and the RuleOfCool can make up for weak points in a story, but rarely does it work ''as'' the story.

'''Just because a trope is realistic doesn't mean it's good.''' There is a reason why we have an entire category devoted to AcceptableBreaksFromReality. That category only applies to video games, but there are some good non-video game examples as well. For example, TheHero gets shot in the shoulder and dies. TheDeterminator doesn't come into play, no MyNameIsInigoMontoya, nothing. Realistic, maybe, but that is not what we want a hero to do. That's right, one of the most fundamental character archetypes is usually unrealistic. The important thing when writing a story is that it's ''believable'', not that it's ''real''. RealityIsUnrealistic, after all; often people are so used to tropes that it's ''reality'' they find jarring.

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'''All tropes can be written badly.''' This includes tropes that everyone thinks are good, like MagnificentBastard. A badly written MagnificentBastard may be done in such a way that everyone else in the story are [[IdiotBall idiots]] {{idiot| ball}}s and generally gives less of an impression of intelligence and more of an impression of [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard cheating]] or changing the [[ScrewTheRulesIHavePlot internal rules]] of the story. RefugeInAudacity has different breaking points for different people.

'''All tropes can be overused.''' Too many [[XanatosGambit Xanatos Gambits]] {{Xanatos Gambit}}s tend to make the show [[MindScrew confusing]], no matter how well written they are. Too many [[MomentOfAwesome Moments Of Awesome]] take up room where plot could go, or make the audience pay less attention to the relatively boring plot bits, making the story more shallow. The MomentOfAwesome is supposed to be a singular moment for a character and the RuleOfCool can make up for weak points in a story, but rarely does it work ''as'' the story.

'''Just because a trope is realistic doesn't mean it's good.''' There is a reason why we have an entire category devoted to AcceptableBreaksFromReality. That category only applies to video games, but there are some good non-video game examples as well. For example, TheHero gets shot in the shoulder and dies. TheDeterminator doesn't come into play, no MyNameIsInigoMontoya, nothing. Realistic, maybe, but that is not what we want a hero to do. That's right, one of the most fundamental character archetypes is usually unrealistic. The important thing when writing a story is that it's ''believable'', not that it's ''real''. RealityIsUnrealistic, after all; often people are so used to tropes that it's ''reality'' they find jarring.


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