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Administrivia / Pothole Magnet

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As the title implies, this index is for pages that have been subject to memetic potholing. This has a tendency to happen to tropes that have a Stock Phrase as their title — hence the ban on new Stock Phrases — but it can happen to other tropes as well.

Normally, this is all in good fun, but Pothole Magnetism does, indeed, have its dark side. There have been tropes that have died horrible, painful deaths due to Pothole Magnetism gone mad (often when not even used correctly). In less extreme cases, it can cause a trope to be renamed.

Special mention: Please consider that for tropers/readers that have been frequenting the wiki for even a few days, there is nothing remotely original or new about potholing understatements to Understatement, stealth puns to Stealth Pun, running gags to Running Gag, overused running gags to Overused Running Gag, and so on. It has been done to death. It has become repetitive and predictable, and repetitiveness and predictability kill humour. In other words, don't require a link jump to make the joke work. It doesn't. Ever.

This is why many tropes are now In-Universe Examples Only, as that excludes potholing without works that use these tropes.

See also Overdosed Tropes, Tropes of Legend, Square Peg, Round Trope.

  • And I Must Scream: Often potholed to something which the editor considers a Fate Worse than Death (exaggerated or not).
  • And That's Terrible: Editors tend to put this phrase at the end of sentences to make a point. And That's Terrible.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Easy for editors to use as the punchline for a list of horrible things.
  • Asshole Victim: Misuse of this trope occurs the most often because people read the "unsympathetic character died a well-deserved death" part, but blithely ignore the "by an event that was beyond their control" part, which is the one thing that sets it apart from Laser-Guided Karma and Karmic Death.
  • Awesome Moments: Also known as "Crowning Moment of Awesome", tropers tend to sinkhole this whenever mentioning something they think is awesome.
  • Awesome Music: Previously known as "Crowning Music of Awesome"; tropers tend to sinkhole this whenever mentioning music they find awesome.
  • Better Than It Sounds: Sometimes potholed as a way of saying that a work is better than what a short summary of its premise would lead one to believe. This is bad because not only is it gushing, it's misuse because the page itself is a Just for Fun game where tropers come up with summaries of works that make them sound worse than they actually are.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Used to indicate or exaggerate how "awesome" or "insane" something is. Given that the original definition was "escalating within a series" one could say it succeeded in a horrific way. That plus confusion with Exaggerated Trope led to a Trope Transplant. The name is now used to refer to events that break internal logic. A wiki clean up removed six thousand instances of misuse and brought the total count below 400. Months later it was still being used the same way but at a smaller rate.
  • Big "NO!": Used whenever anyone says "Noooo!", sometimes used as an audience reaction.
  • Blatant Lies: This article is absolutely, positively, not a common pothole for false statements.
  • Buffy Speak: A hole-link-thingy for when things are described in exact-yet clunky describy-words.
  • Captain Obvious: This is used as a pothole for obvious statements, or what a troper thinks is obvious. Obviously.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Wait, this trope is often sinkholed here, and if a sinkhole causes cars to die, then does that mean this trope makes cars die?
  • Country Matters: "Cunt" is more often than not sinkholed here. Sometimes a statement about female genitalia that doesn't even use the word will be sinkholed there.
  • Crapsack World: Tropers seem to love potholing to this for universes that even have the smallest amount of bad things happening, and also in relation to anything bad happening in the real world.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Often linked in reference to a snarky character or one of their witty quotes. Can also be used to pothole a sarcastic statement, not unlike Sarcasm Mode (also see that one below).
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Redundant statements are potholed to this article about redundant statements.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?
  • Don't Explain the Joke: A Running Gag on this site is to explain jokes and pothole the explanation to this article. It's often a misuse, because the trope is actually telling you what the punchline means, not merely giving context to the joke.
  • Drinking Game: Despite the page saying In-Universe Examples Only, editors have a tendency to pothole this page to emphasize the frequency of an event happening in the film itself, whether it's applicable or not. Heck, take a shot for every misused pothole you can see on this list!
  • Epic Fail: Often used for things that fail annoyingly in general.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Often potholed when something's name or title is completely self-descriptive.
  • Executive Meddling: Used to pothole executive names to or refer to a certain company's management. Corrupt Corporate Executive and Evil Overlord are also used as alternatives to this.
  • Eye Scream
  • Facepalm: Frequently used as an audience reaction to What an Idiot! moments.
  • Flat "What": Also often used as an audience reaction. note 
  • Freud Was Right - Used to lampshade sexual implications. Now misuse as the trope has been made In-Universe Examples Only (it was previously given an examples lockout in the aftermath of the Second Google Incident and the subsequent enaction of the content policy).
  • Fridge Brilliance: Often potholed when an observation is made in a trope. Usually as a result of natter.
  • Fridge Logic: Also used for observations.
  • Funetik Aksent: Generally potholed in memetic phrases with badly-written words representing a different accent.
  • Funny Moments: Also known as "Crowning Moment Of Funny", tropers tend to sinkhole this whenever mentioning something they find funny.
  • Guide Dang It!
  • Horrible Judge of Character
  • Humans Are Bastards is often potholed to whenever some human is mean to another human, whether in a work, or in real life. Pessimism is rather a lot of fun, after all. This got to the point that Humans Are the Real Monsters was split off to cover examples of humans being bastards to other species, but the original trope will probably still be used when that one should be instead.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Now remember, potholing to tropes that apply to your own comment is bad!
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Generic pun pothole. The article was created because tropers were misusing Incredibly Lazy Pun, the former name for Stealth Pun, for this purpose. It then mutated into an actual trope about in-universe negative reactions to puns, which has since been renamed Lame Pun Reaction. Incredibly Lame Pun is now a redirect to Pun.
  • Insistent Terminology
  • I Thought It Meant: Frequently potholed when contrasting two things that sound similar.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Whenever describing an event in a story that sounds weird or nonsensical. As well as its direct inverse,
  • Joking Mode: Often used in forum posts when telling some tongue-in-cheek joke that's not quite sarcastic.
  • Justified Trope: Usually potholed to note that the usage of a trope is justified and makes sense. Unfortunately subjected to heavy misuse as many of these “justified” usages are actually Justifying Edits, which are anything but justified.
  • Kill It with Fire: Tropers pothole this when any use of fire as an attack occurs, and even in cases where literal fire wasn't involved, such as when tropers are screaming for an Example Sectionectomy.
  • Lampshade Hanging
  • Love It or Hate It: Tropers would pothole this to indicate that a work had polarizing opinions or as an alternate way of saying Your Mileage May Vary. It's a bad idea to do this outside of YMMV pages unless it's In-Universe.
  • Madness Mantra: Better pothole it right here, Better pothole it right here, Better pothole it right here…
  • Memetic Mutation: There are over 9000 instances of memes being potholed to this article. note 
  • Mind Screw: Whenever tropers make screwy statements or point at someone's messed up mind.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Often potholed when someone is accused of being a Sell-Out.
  • The Movie: Often potholed to make a joke that a work is (Insert Trope or General Idea Here): The Movie.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Easy to pothole for statements that sounds absurd or out-of-the-ordiniary. We swear we're not making this up.
  • N-Word Privileges: Any use of the N-word will be potholed here, the requirements of the trope be damned.
  • Oh, Crap!: Used as an out-of-universe reaction to things that may trigger this reaction in real life.
  • Overly-Long Gag: Any Self-Demonstrating Article has this as a popular pothole target.
  • Precision F-Strike: Tropers tend to pothole this whenever the F-word is used, even if it's not rare for the work or character. Cluster F-Bomb and Atomic F-Bomb are also used as alternatives to this.
  • Recycled In Space: Same story, slightly different setting... same pothole.
  • Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment: Usually potholed into any statement that can remotely be considered controversial. Editors frequently use it with a phrase like, "and we'll just leave it at that" as a substitute for properly providing context for an example.
  • Rule of Cool: People tend to pothole this to highlight outstanding moments in their favorite media. Why? Rule of Cool, that's why.
  • Rule of Funny: Haha, that's a really funny moment in this comedy I just saw. Better pothole this link on the page. Why? Because Rule of Funny, that's why.
  • Rule of Three: Inevitable pothole for the third use of a Running Gag on a page. Even when there are more than three uses in total, thus not even applying.
  • Running Gag: Inevitable pothole for the fourth use of a Running Gag on a page.
  • Sarcasm Mode: This trope should ALWAYS be potholed, there's never any misuse! note  This pothole can also be frequently found in the forums, in order to mark any ironic statement with a "sarcasm tag".
  • Schmuck Bait: Tends to be used when mentioning things that you would be advised to not look up on the internet, for one reason or another.
  • Self-Demonstrating Article: If an article self-demonstrates, there's a 99% chance it contains at least one pothole to Self-Demonstrating Article.
  • Self-Deprecation: Potholed to an insult to either the person themselves or tropers in general.
  • Sincerity Mode: This gets potholed for honest statements that are not jokes or sarcasm, especially in the forums.
  • Squee: Tropers tend to pothole this when it comes to moments that make them overjoyed.
  • Squick: Tropers tend to pothole this when it comes to moments that make them cringe in disgust.
  • Sturgeon's Law: 90% of its wicks are potholes on Fanfic Recs. The remaining 10% are worth a cleanup effort.
  • The Stinger: Whenever a trope or work page uses a stinger, it's almost always potholed to this.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The natural consequences of actions are often potholed here, usually as a leftover from the previous trope name, "Reality Ensues". This was even used for Real Life events — of course things that actually happened are going to turn out realistically (except in cases where Reality Is Unrealistic). This is especially noticeable post-rename, as many of the Wiki Words were rendered grammatically incorrect by the automatic replacement — a problem which even occurred on this very page.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: This trope never gets potholed. Especially not when the writer of a trope example is employing it.
  • Take a Third Option: Do people pothole this trope as an out-of-universe speculation of something ambiguous within the narrative, or do they use it when some other trope like Cutting the Knot would be more appropriate? Or is it a combination of both?note 
  • Take That!: A number of insults, both In-Universe and Out, tend to be potholed to this article.
  • Tear Jerker: Tends to be sinkholed whenever mentioning a sad moment.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Tropers tend to pothole this whenever the word "bitch" is used, which is misuse.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Used as an out-of-universe reaction to things that may trigger this reaction in real life.
  • Title Drop: Many trope articles with a Title Drop have a pothole to this article. It also applies to trope pages where the name of the trope is mentioned in the description. Rule of Thumb: For description of trope pages, try using Trope Namer as an alternative instead.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Though it refers to characters facing risky situations because of their stupidity, this trope gets potholed for any act of stupidity.
  • Trope Namers: If a Trope Namer is quoted in a trope's page quote, it will frequently be potholed to this article. Note that this violates our rule against having potholes in page quotes.
  • Unusual Euphemism
  • Up To Eleven: Now a disambiguation. The vague definition made it indistinguishable from Exaggerated Trope and Serial Escalation.
  • Viewers Are Morons
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Due to being a stock phrase, editors would occasionally pothole this at the end of a sentence to highlight a character's stupidity.
  • X Meets Y: Used for crossovers. It's misused because it's a Just for Fun page.

Former Pothole Magnets that had their wicks cleaned up:

  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: Users put or potholed this to a page whenever something is announced that makes the fandom rejoice. As a consequence, it's now under a wick ban.
  • Understatement: Formerly used by editors to point proudly at their own understatement — or, worse, sinkholed into lines which demonstrated the polar opposite of understatement. Was incorrectly potholed on over 8700 pages before a concerted effort to clean it up was made between August and October of 2011. When the clean-up was done, the correct wicks numbered about 600. A second clean-up began in May of 2012 when incorrect potholes began to increase the total wicks above 900 again.

Tropes that have been renamed due to misguided Pothole Magnetism:

  • The "Artistic License - X" tropes were like this because they used to be known as "You Fail X Forever" and "X Does Not Work That Way."
  • Comically Missing the Point: Formerly known as Completely Missing The Point. This caused the trope to be misused as a pothole for any statement that missed the point. As such, the original "Completely Missing The Point" trope got split into Comically Missing the Point and Dramatically Missing the Point, depending on what purpose the tone-missing serves for the story.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Its original title was simply Or Is It?, which attracted misuse as a Stock Phrase and Verbal Tic. The old name was turned into a deliberate redlink, and later, a normal redlink.
  • From Bad to Worse: Originally titled It Got Worse, which attracted misuse that got worse and worse. While potholing this page through the same sentiment does still occur, it's far less frequent than it once was, and thus more manageable when it does.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Formerly Incredibly Lame Pun, which was just a generic pun pothole target before it became a trope. The trope was renamed to isolate the pothole magnet from the trope.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: Formerly known as Nudge Nudge, and before that, If You Know What I Mean. Because of that, double entendres that pothole to this article were more common than grass. This led to a cleanup effort dedicated to removing these sinkholes.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Was originally named What Do You Mean, It's Not Awesome? It was changed due to being used as a generic pothole for things that were awesome.
  • "No. Just… No" Reaction: Formerly known merely as No. Just… No, renamed because it was often potholed for when tropers' responses to something were a strong "NO", when it was supposed to refer to In-Universe instances of the Stock Phrase in reaction to a Squicky moment.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Was originally named This! Is! SPARTA! Statements. Like. This. Are almost guaranteed to be potholed to this article. Even entries that should have been potholed to the movie 300 were potholed to this trope.
  • Russian Reversal: Originally named In Soviet Russia, Trope Mocks You, which was misused as a meme.
  • Serial Escalation: Originally Beyond The Impossible. It got a Trope Transplant due to massive misuse as a pothole for anything that seemed impossible.
  • Stealth Pun: Originally Incredibly Lazy Pun. The old name saw a lot of misuse as a generic pun pothole, resulting in the trope being renamed and the old name being permanently redlinked.
  • Translation Train Wreck: Formerly known as Do Not Want. The article was cut and moved due to pothole misuse for things tropers found squicky.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Formerly known as I Got Better. The old name attracted a lot of misuse as a pothole for people or things "getting better" in general.
  • World of Pun: Formerly known as A Worldwide Punomenon. The original page was poorly defined and was incorrectly attracting troper pun potholes.
  • Zero-Context Example: Formerly known as X, Just...X, after a common format associated with this type of example. This, however, had the unfortunate side effect of having tropers potholing these examples to the page, despite the fact that the article's very purpose was to discourage them. This led to the article being deliberately redlinked, and later, renamed.

Articles that have joined the Permanent Red Link Club due to misguided Pothole Magnetism:

Alternative Title(s): Sinkhole Magnet