Here at TV Tropes we're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. We prefer general guidelines and rely on people's good sense, or our staff, in the event that people have run out of good sense, to determine when someone has crossed the line.
We have a lot of customs here that we don't even think about, but may seem completely foreign to someone who is new to the wiki, or new to a subculture within the wiki such as Trope Launch Pad or the Trope Repair Shop.
So, here is a list of customs you should know about in our unique and totally not scary culture:
- Don't be a dick. We can't stress this enough. We expect editors to treat each other politely, even when they disagree. This includes forum posts, edit reasons, discussion pages, and contributor pages. Our culture strives to be civil even when we would rather not be.
- We'd like to walk the line between prudery, being family friendly, and creepily gushing about attractiveness and/or sexuality. When it comes to sex and gore, just the facts, ma'am. When it comes to how attractive you, the editor, finds a character or actor, take it somewhere else. See No Lewdness, No Prudishness for more information.
- If you do happen to get a suspension from editing, it's probably not a permanent ban. It's usually a way for our staff to talk to you before you can do any more damage and determine if you're capable of learning from your mistakes and becoming a valued contributor. Head over to the Edit Banned thread and ask what you did wrong. We're not looking for groveling, just politeness and a good reason to believe you won't do it again (or to find out it was a misunderstanding, since that happens, too).
- Our primary purpose here is to catalog tropes. We earnestly wish to have fun while doing so, and encourage breezy, colloquial language and wittiness whenever possible. We're also okay with things existing Just for Fun... right up until the point it starts conflicting with our Prime Directive. Keep the fun where it belongs and everything will coexist nicely.
- On the other hand, if your idea of "fun" is bashing works, creators, or people in general, this probably isn't the wiki for you. We're here to celebrate fiction, not bash it. At the same time, it should be noted that gushing over your favourite thing isn't the point of the main pages either, though it's less disruptive.
Editing the wiki proper
- This hardly bears saying, but any kind of page vandalism isn't allowed, even if it's only a joke.
- Edit Wars aren't allowed either, even if you know you're right. Try working things out on the discussion page, via PM, or, failing that, bring the issue to Ask The Tropers.
- Edit Reasons are strongly encouraged. We're not psychic, and what's obvious to you may not be obvious to everyone. Please let us know what you're doing.
- If you're deleting anything, leave an edit reason. Leaving an edit reason is always a good idea, but it's particularly important if you're removing content. And never ever remove all the content from a page; that's called page blanking and is nearly guaranteed to be a one-way ticket to a suspension. If an entire page needs to go, use the Cut List.
- The Fic May Be Yours, But The Trope Page Is Ours. As long as it's within the content guidelines, no one can tell us what we can or can't trope. If you're the author of a work we have a page on, you do not have the right to blank the page. If you feel the page is misleading, negative, or has other problems, you do have the right to fix or discuss them, but beware that you are very biased on this issue and should probably seek a second opinion.
- When it comes to American vs. British spelling, whichever one gets there first wins. That's why we have Colour-Coded for Your Convenience and Color-Coded Elements on Main, while the other spelling gets redirect status. Please don't "correct" American or British spelling on any page you see.
- Don't forget to double check a trope before you add it to a page. It might not be what it sounds like, or the definition may have shifted since the last time you read it.
- We encourage people to fix minor problems they see themselves. If you see a bad example, bad formatting, an index a trope really should be on, a sister trope that isn't mentioned, or some other small problem with any page, please feel free to fix it. And by fix it, we mean fix it directly, not add a sub-bullet correcting it.
- It is perfectly permissible to namespace a work page, soft or hard split example lists on work pages, folderize or namespace example lists on trope pages, or create redirects without anyone's permission, although you should leave an edit reason and note on the discussion page.
- If you come across a Zero-Context Example, the best thing to do is expand it. If you're not familiar enough with the source material, the preferred method of dealing with it is to change it to a comment (add "%%" to the beginning of the line). This will make it invisible to the casual reader, while inviting other editors to expand it and put it back on the page as a proper example. Of course, if you are familiar with it, and the ZCE is also wrong, by all means, delete it and leave an edit reason. See the Fixing Zero-Context Examples thread for more information.
- For potentially Not Safe for Work stuff, see No Lewdness, No Prudishness. Short version: Sex is a part of fiction, so you can talk about (most of) that stuff, as long as you don't turn the page itself into an example of it. There are some things that are forbidden to ensure the site's very survival, though: See The Content Policy and the 5P Circuit.
Page and Image Repairs
- Major changes, such as redefining a trope, renaming it, removing all or most of the examples, cutting it, merging it with another trope, or splitting it into multiple tropes needs a general consensus to go forward. Please take issues of that nature to the Trope Repair Shop rather than attempting the fix yourself.
- Crowners are our voting system. The name is an Artifact Title from when they were used to determine a "Crowning Moment Of Awesome"( which has been renamed to SugarWiki.Moment Of Awesome) but they never really took off for that purpose. We use them any time we need to get a consensus, usually for picking an image or deciding how to fix a trope that seems broken. Please see the How Crowners Work page for more information on this process.
- Speaking of images, you can pick an image for an image-less page so long as it doesn't violate any of our policies about images, or you can take the page to Image Pickin'. However, if a page already has an image and you don't think it works, please change it in Image Pickin' only. Don't change or remove any image that's been tagged as coming from Image Pickin' without first going through there.
Creating Pages and Trope Launch Pad
- Works Pages Are a Free Launch. Know a work that doesn't have a page? Please add it (unless it violates our Content Policy, that is)! However, you can use Trope Launch Pad if you want assistance fleshing it out with tropes first. If you do so, it's a good idea to specifically mention that this is what you're doing, otherwise you'll get a series of replies telling you you don't need a TLP.
- On the other hand, new tropes and new indexes - indeed all pages in the Main/ namespace - need to go through Trope Launch Pad.
- All the same rules about editing wiki pages apply to TLP drafts - it's okay to add examples and do minor fixes to the description, but anything major (or if you're just not sure) should be discussed first.
- You are free to launch someone's TLP only if there's an Up for Grabs notification or the sponsor hasn't edited the draft or posted for two months or more. Otherwise, it's kinda rude, you know.
- Before you try to launch a trope, learn how to do it properly. If you don't, you'll launch an empty red link instead of your trope. If you ninja-mislaunch someone else's trope, you are courting the fiery wrath of the other TLPers.
- Our policy for names is Clear, Concise, Witty, in that order of importance. Please don't be offended if your proposed trope name is shot down for failing those criteria.
- In TLP, don't ignore suggestions or launch a trope that has objections to one or more aspects until those have been resolved. If in doubt, ask for help in the TropeLaunchPad Workstation Thread.
- Don't forget to index pages that you create. To do so, find the appropriate index and add a link to your article in the proper order. You must do this after you create the page for the indexing to work. If you need help finding an index, post here.